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Let Us Take Care of Your Dental Emergency [Developer’s note: Use H2 here]

For patients who experience a dental emergency or trauma, we want to provide you with prompt, gentle emergency care in Alabaster, Alabama. Until you are in our office, though, you can refer to the general information below to best care for your child’s dental health. Please contact our pediatric dentist, Dr. Lauri Williams, at 205-664-2130 if you have any questions or concerns.

Chipped, Broken or Knocked-Out Tooth

The first 30 minutes after an accident are the most critical to treatment of dental trauma.

If your child’s primary tooth is knocked out:

  • Never attempt to put a baby tooth back into its socket. Doing so may cause harm to the developing permanent tooth forming beneath the gum.
  • Seek dental treatment as soon as possible to assess the socket and check for other any other injuries.
  • Take the tooth with you to the pediatric dentist, if possible, so it can also be assessed.
  • If you are in doubt whether it is a permanent or baby tooth, transport the tooth assuming it is permanent, covered in milk or saliva, NOT water.

If your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out:

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown part. Avoid touching the root of the tooth.
  • If the tooth appears very dirty, wash it quickly with cold water for no more than 10 seconds.
  • Holding the crown of the tooth, push the tooth back into the socket that it has come from. **If you feel comfortable doing so**
  • If you do not want to put tooth back into socket: Seek dental treatment immediately. Timing is very important. A tooth that is replanted successfully within 60 minutes has a much greater chance of survival.
  • Transport tooth covered in milk or saliva, NOT water.

What to do for a chipped or broken tooth:

  • Seek dental treatment to fix the chip and check for any other oral injuries. If tooth fragment is found, place it in milk or saliva, NOT water.
  • If the chip has exposed the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, it is at high risk of infection. The tooth needs to be patched up as soon as possible.
  • If the trauma has made the tooth lose or moved it, the dentist may help to reposition and stabilize the tooth.

If your child has an accident after our hours, call our emergency services phone at 205-941-0631.

Emergencies Come With Delays

When there is an emergency, the team at Alabaster Pediatric Dentistry takes it very seriously. Our schedule may be delayed in order to treat an injured child. Should an emergency occur, accept our apologies in advance.

Our team will provide you with the same care should your child ever need an emergency visit with Alabaster Pediatric Dentistry.

Care of Your Child’s Mouth After Trauma

Please keep the area as clean as possible. A soft wash cloth works well during the healing process. Please follow these instructions:

  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth
  • Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days or until your child feels comfortable eating normally again
  •  Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold
  •  If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed
  •  Do not hesitate to call the office at 205-664-2130 if you have any questions

Necessary Post-Operative Care

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic

If the procedure was in the lower jaw, your child’s tongue, teeth, lip and the surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep. If the procedure was in the upper jaw, your child’s teeth, lip and the surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.

Children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck or play with the numb lip, tongue or cheek. This can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue. Watch your child closely for approximately two hours following the procedure. Keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Extraction Post-Op Instructions

If your child has had one or more teeth “wiggled” out, the gauze needs to stay in place with biting pressure for 30 minutes, reducing the amount of bleeding.

Give your child the appropriate dose of children’s Tylenol, Motrin or Advil when you take the gauze out (no aspirin). Your child will need this for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If pain persists beyond 48 hours, call our office.

Your child should eat only soft, bland food for the first two days. Nothing sharp, crunchy or too hot or cold should be eaten because the area may be sensitive. Encourage plenty of liquids and let your child determine when a regular diet can be reintroduced. Spitting or drinking through a straw or “sippy” cup is not allowed. The force can start the bleeding again.

A clean mouth heals faster. Gentle brushing around the extraction site can be started immediately along with warm salt water rinses to aid with any discomfort.

Activity should be limited. Swelling after an extraction is common and should not cause alarm. If swelling occurs, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed in the 24 hours following tooth removal. Your child’s cheek, lip and tongue will be numb for approximately one to two hours. Be careful that your child does not bite at their cheek or pick at this area. As this area “wakes up,” it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. Please monitor your child.

Care of Sealants

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, decreasing the risk of decay. Since the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth can’t be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy. This can fracture the sealant. Normal retention of a sealant is up to four years. Sealants that become displaced in the first 12 months will be replaced at no charge. After 12 months, sealants will be replaced at 50% charge for the next three years.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten can help prevent tooth decay. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on your child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated.

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning can produce some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a “rough cleaning,” but due to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. Alabaster Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following for two to three days after cleaning was performed:

  • A warm salt water rinse two to three times per day (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  • For discomfort, use Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed for the age of the child
  • If discomfort persists for more than seven days, contact us at 205-664-2130