Dental Trauma is scary and nerve-wracking for both children and their parents. The most common causes of dental trauma in children are falls and sports-related injuries.
At Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics, Dr. Cohen and his pediatric specialists are here to ensure that your child receives the absolute best care and treatment when an accident does occur.
What is Dental Trauma?
Dental trauma involves damage to the teeth and the surrounding oral structures and can present in many different forms. Milder forms of dental trauma may go unnoticed by parents and are only found in subsequent dental examinations.
The most commonly affected teeth in dental trauma are the upper front teeth. Damage to front teeth can include chipping, loosening and displacement (a knocked out tooth – also known as avulsion). More serious cases may involve bone fracture, soft tissue laceration, and complex dental and maxillofacial trauma.
Treating Dental Trauma
If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, prompt attention is necessary to maintain the life of the tooth. Rule of thumb is to contact us immediately. Less severe cases of trauma may be able to be treated at home until you can find time to bring your child in to see us.
Following are some helpful tips for treating your child at home until you’re able to reach us or come in:
- Find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap). Take care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it’s in place).
- Place the tooth in a clean container with milk.
- Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. Again, if you act quickly, it’s possible to save the tooth.
Important: If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, take him or her to see us as soon as possible.
Object Caught In Teeth
If your child has something caught between his or her teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken off a piece of a tooth, rinse his or her mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his or her mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has a bitten lip or tongue severe enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, or a broken nose, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call us and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
If your child experiences dental trauma, please remain calm. Although frightening for both you and your child, prompt attention at home, our office – or at the hospital ER when necessary — will prevent long term damage and put your child on the road to recovery.
Dental Emergency Contact Information
If your child is experiencing a true dental emergency, Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics can be reached at 212-988-6727. We are available to handle emergency situations for our patients 24/7. If your child appears to be suffering from injuries that extend beyond the mouth, call 911 or take your child to the emergency room ASAP.
Dr. Cohen is on staff at the following hospitals in Manhattan, where he has 24/7/365 admitting privileges:
- Mount Sinai Hospital: 1425 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029
- Beth Israel Medical Center: 10 Nathan D Perlman Pl, New York, NY 10003
- Lenox Hill Hospital: 100 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075
- St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center: 1000 10th Ave New York, NY 10019
For the best of the best in Comprehensive Pediatric Dental Care in New York City, call Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics today at 212-988-6727. We look forward to serving you with an unsurpassed commitment to comfort, compassion and empathetic care!
Dr. Ruben Cohen
Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics
Announced in 2017 in New York Times Magazine as one of the top 20 oral surgeons and “Super Specialists” in New York City – selected by local medical experts!