Dental Emergencies

Knocked Out Baby Tooth

Once lost, baby teeth should not be put back into the mouth as it may possibly damage the growing permanent tooth. However, it is important to make sure no other teeth have been injured. Contact your pediatric dental office promptly.


Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Should one of your child’s permanent teeth be knocked out, please follow these important steps:

  1. Find the tooth.
  2. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion.
  3. You may rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily.
  4. Try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth.
  5. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water.
  6. Contact your pediatric dental office immediately or any nearest dental office available.
  7. Please note:  Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.



To help alleviate the symptom of a toothache, clean the area around the tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water or use floss to remove any trapped food or debris. If your child’s face is swollen, apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in cloth. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area. You may administer Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil for pain and call your pediatric dental office to schedule an appointment.


Broken Tooth

If your child experiences a broken tooth due to an accident or injury, please follow these important steps:

  1. Rinse dirt from the injured area with warm water.
  2. Apply a cold compress if there is swelling.
  3. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments.
  4. Immediate action may save the tooth, prevent infection, as well as reduce the need for extensive treatment.
  5. Contact your pediatric dental office immediately or any nearest dental office available.


Possible Jaw Fracture

A broken jaw is an immediate medical emergency.  Go directly to the nearest emergency room and try to keep the jaw from moving by using a towel or handkerchief during transport.


Cold/Canker Sores

Many children occasionally suffer from these sores. Since these sores usually take 1-2 weeks to resolve, over-the-counter preparations can give temporary relief. If these sores persist, a dental evaluation might be needed to rule out any systemic diseases.


Broken Braces and Wires

If your child wears braces and the appliance breaks, if possible, remove it.  If it cannot be removed, cover the sharp or protruding portion with cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum.
Take the child to your orthodontist or pediatric dentist. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don’t usually require emergency attention.


How to prevent dental injuries in general:

  • Help child-proof your home my making sure your infant or toddler cannot find sharp objects to put in their mouth. Be sure that no electrical outlets or cords are within their reach as well as putting toys in safe areas.
  • For children who are just learning how to walk, make sure there are not sharp edges or corners on furniture around the house on which they can fall and hurt themselves. Place padding and use safety gates until your child has learned complete balance.
  • For outdoor activities, use straps that come with strollers and swings. Make sure they wear a helmet when they’re on their bike, scooter, skates or on playground equipment. Mouth-guards can also be used to reduce injuries during athletic activities.

Should you have an emergency after hours, please call the Dentistry for Kids office at (775) 823-9797.  You will be informed how to contact the dentist for an emergency call. When directed to, please state the following information to the dentist on-call:

  • Your name and your child’s name
  • Telephone number and whether it is a home phone or cell phone
  • A description of the emergency

IMPORTANT: A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under 18 to all dental visits unless prior arrangements have been made with the office.