Trauma - What To Do

If your child has a dental emergency call your pediatric dentist immediately for specialized instruction on how to handle the injury. If you suspect that your child has a head or neck injury related to a trauma then contact the Emergency Room immediately. If you are a patient of record at “Name” please call our office (919-435-7660) if you have a dental emergency or trauma. If the emergency or trauma occurs after hours you will be directed to a number to reach the on call doctor for our office. We have an on call doctor available at all times. All of the Pediatric Dentists located in Wake County have a call group for weekend coverage so the weekend pediatric dentist on call may not necessarily be Dr. Hollowell or Dr. Porter.

Broken or fractured Tooth

Rinse any dirt from the injured area with warm water. Place a cold compress on the lip if it was also injured. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Place the fragment in cold milk or saliva and take it with you to the dental office. In many cases the dentist can actually bond this fragment back onto the tooth. Contact our office immediately as quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Fractures to permanent teeth are much more serious than fractures to primary teeth but call immediately if a primary tooth is fractured nonetheless.

A permanent tooth is knocked out

Find the tooth and handle it by the top (crown), not the root. Rinse the tooth gently in cold water BUT DO NOT HANDLE OR CLEAN THE TOOTH UNNECESSARILY. Try to reinsert the tooth back in its socket and have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket or are unsure if it is a primary or permanent tooth, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk or saliva. Call our office immediately. Time is of the essence and the faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

A baby tooth is knocked out

Contact our office as soon as possible. Do not try to put the baby tooth back in because you could cause damage to the developing permanent tooth.


Rinse the mouth with warm water and use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. Take Tylenol or Motrin (Ibuprofen) as directed to ease the symptoms. Do not place aspirin on the gum or aching tooth. If the face is swollen apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth. Call our office for further instructions.

The tooth is knocked out of position

Try to reposition the tooth back where it was as soon as possible. Call our office immediately.

Injury to the head or jaw fracture

Your child may need immediate medical attention. A severe head injury can be life-threatening. If you fear a broken jaw then keep the jaws from moving by using a towel, necktie or handkerchief. Keep in mind that an emergency medical team might be able to reach you faster than you can get to the hospital.

Cut or bitten lip, tongue or cheek

Apply ice to the bruised areas. If there is bleeding apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure then call our office or take the child to a hospital emergency room.

Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out

Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out is completely normal. Place a clean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area and apply pressure for 15 minutes. Repeat once more if needed and if bleeding still persists then call our office.

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