We understand that a dental emergency or dental pain is a stressful experience for both you and your child. Patients in pain will always receive first priority for appointments and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.
If your child has had a dental injury after hours, please contact the Children’s Hospital at Westmead where you will be put in contact with the Paediatric Dentistry registrar.
What to do if your child chips or knocks out a tooth
When babies are learning to walk they are prone to falls and injuries to their mouth and teeth. Knowing how to administer first aid in case of a dental injury is important. Your child’s primary teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth.
If your child knocks out a primary tooth you should not attempt to put the tooth back in its socket because it may cause damage to the permanent tooth or lead to infection.
If your child knocks out a permanent tooth it is important to put this back into the socket. You should avoid touching the root section of the tooth. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it quickly, preferably with water, and replace it in the socket. Look at the teeth either side of where the tooth has come from, use the shape and position as a guide. It is important that once you have replaced the tooth that you see a dentist immediately. If you are uncomfortable doing this or you are finding it too difficult the alternative is to put the tooth in milk and see a dentist immediately. The sooner a knocked out tooth is replaced, the better the long-term prognosis for the tooth. Teeth that are replaced within thirty minutes have a good chance of surviving long term, but it is well worth replacing a tooth even if it has been out for a number of hours
It is important to seek urgent dental treatment for your child to check if any pieces of tooth remain in the socket and to ensure no other damage has been done.
To manage bleeding, apply pressure directly to the injured area with a clean cloth or gauze pack. This will help to control the bleeding. To minimise swelling, you can apply ice or cold compresses to your child’s face at the site of the injury. If the injury is severe it may require stitches. Your child may require some age-appropriate pain relieving medication.
With any dental injury, it’s important to always seek professional advice from a dentist, or if a dentist is not available, seek advice from a healthcare professional or your local hospital.