Sporting Smiles
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pediatric Emergencies

How can we help you?

When it comes to your child's health, being engaged matters. We are here to answer your questions and help you feel confident in the decisions you make. 

We've collected some of the questions we hear most often here at Sporting Smiles. If your question isn't on this list or you need more information, please don't hesitate to call our office. 

Pediatric Emergencies


Your child's first teeth, called primary or "baby" teeth, are crucial to your child's early dental development. These teeth help your child as he or she develops speech and learns to chew solid foods.

Additionally, baby teeth create a sort of "pathway" for the permanent teeth to follow, which usually starts happening around the age of 6. The root of the baby tooth begins to dissolve, causing it to become wiggly and eventually fall out, which leaves a space for the permanent tooth to erupt.

When a tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth that eventually erupts may come in crooked or in the wrong place, which can lead to a need for orthodontic correction later in life. Alternatively, if a baby tooth becomes damaged, the root may not dissolve properly, which can lead to the tooth failing to fall out on time. In this situation, the permanent tooth may erupt in an incorrect place or fail to erupt completely and become impacted, raising the risk of abscess or infection. If your child takes a fall and injures his or her tooth, please notify us so that we can keep an eye on that tooth and make sure that everything is still developing as usual. If the tooth fails to fall out on time, we may recommend a simple extraction to allow the permanent teeth to erupt correctly.


If a tooth breaks, whether or not it can be saved depends how severe and where the break or fracture is. It ultimately depends on if it is an enamel fracture, dentin fracture or pulp exposure or crown/root fracture, root fracture, alveolar fracture. It is not necessary to save the broken piece of a tooth, but can assist in determining extent of damage. However there may be chance it cannot be bonded back to the injured tooth. Treatment varies depending on the injury. However, do treat the area with ice and pressure to reduce swelling and stop any bleeding if any. Then reach out to local Pediatric Dentist to determine next steps of treatment. It is recommended to take pictures on parents cell phone to help diagnose extent of injury and if emergency care is needed.

If child has suffered a serious injury call 911. If child has suffered a concussion call pediatrician or visit local Emergency Room.

We know that this can be a scary situation for both parents and kids! The most important thing to do right now is to remain calm. This is a problem that can be solved.

Find the tooth, if you can. Make sure that you are holding it by the crown (the visible portion of the tooth) and not the root. Gently rinse it off, without disturbing any attached tissue, and try to reinsert it. One side of the tooth is flatter and wider than the other. This is the side that faces the lip and not the tongue. If it's not possible to reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a container of milk. 

Bring your child (and the container with the tooth) to our office right away. The sooner we can see your child, the greater the chance we have of saving the tooth. 

If your child knocks out a primary (baby) tooth, don't attempt to reinsert the tooth. Call our office. We'll ask you the questions necessary to schedule an appropriate appointment for your child. Sometimes, if a tooth is lost too early, we may need to consider spacers to hold the space open for the developing permanent tooth and prevent the other teeth from drifting into the space. Other times, we can simply let nature take its course! An evaluation will help us determine the best approach for your child.

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