What should I do if my baby has a dental emergency or injury?

When your baby experiences a dental emergency or injury, it can be a stressful and alarming situation. Immediate and appropriate action is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for your child’s dental health.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

The first and most important step is to remain calm. Your baby will likely be distressed, especially if they are in pain or if there is bleeding. By staying composed, you can better assess the situation and provide the comfort and care your baby needs.

Determine the Nature of the Emergency

Dental emergencies in babies can range from minor injuries to more serious conditions that require immediate attention. Common dental emergencies include:

  • Knocked-out tooth (avulsion): Baby teeth are not re-implanted, but a knocked-out permanent tooth needs immediate attention.
  • Chipped or fractured tooth: Even minor damage can be painful and should be evaluated by a dentist.
  • Bites on the lip or tongue: If there is significant bleeding or a large wound, medical attention may be necessary.
  • Object stuck in the mouth or between teeth: Avoid using sharp instruments to remove any objects; dental intervention might be needed.
  • Toothache: Pain in or around a tooth could indicate an infection or other issues that require prompt care.

Take Immediate Action

Depending on the type of injury, here are specific steps to follow:

  • For a knocked-out baby tooth: Do not attempt to reinsert the tooth. Find and save the tooth for the dentist to examine, and contact your pediatric dentist immediately.
  • For a chipped or fractured tooth: Rinse your baby’s mouth with clean water. If you can find the tooth fragment, save it and bring it to the dentist.
  • For soft tissue injuries: Clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If bleeding doesn’t stop or the injury is extensive, seek emergency medical attention.
  • For a toothache: Rinse the mouth with water to cleanse it. If the pain persists, contact your pediatric dentist.

Contact Your Pediatric Dentist

In any dental emergency, it’s essential to contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. They can provide specific instructions on how to handle the situation or may request to see your baby immediately. Be ready to describe the incident and your baby’s symptoms in detail.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

While not all dental emergencies can be prevented, here are some steps to reduce the risk:

  • Use appropriate baby gates and padding to safeguard against falls, especially once your baby starts crawling or walking.
  • Avoid giving your baby hard foods or objects that could break their teeth.
  • Supervise your baby during playtime and avoid hazardous toys or objects.

Be Prepared

Knowing how to respond to a dental emergency can make a significant difference in the outcome. It’s helpful to have a dental emergency kit that includes:

  • Your pediatric dentist’s contact information.
  • Sterile gauze or clean cloths.
  • A small container with a lid for any knocked-out teeth or tooth fragments.
  • A cold pack.


A dental emergency or injury can be a frightening experience, but with the right knowledge and immediate action, you can effectively manage the situation and help ensure the best possible care for your baby’s dental health. Remember, regular dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing potential emergencies.


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