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Dental Care / Teeth Issues > Tooth Trauma and Toothaches

Tooth Trauma and Toothaches

How to handle and respond to broken, cracked, dislodged teeth, as well as how to handle toothaches.

What should I do if my child's tooth is chipped?

A chipped tooth is at risk of infection. Your child's dentist should be contacted for an evaluation as soon as possible. Clean the tooth with water if needed. Do not use soap or toothpaste until the dentist says it is okay. If a piece of tooth falls off, keep that piece and bring it to the dentist. If your dentist is unavailable, they will refer you to an emergency room that has a dentist on call. Urgent care centers do not have dentists on call and are not appropriate for tooth injuries.

What do I do if a baby tooth is knocked out?

Call your child's dentist as soon as possible.

What do I do if a permanent tooth is knocked out?

First, don't panic. This only makes the child more anxious. Expect bleeding; holding pressure on the gums can help control the bleeding. Find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist. Many emergency rooms have dentists on call. Urgent care centers do not, so go to an ER if you cannot get into your dentist.


If your child has a toothache, he will need to see his dentist. Until that appointment, you can rinse the mouth with cool water and use an ice pack on the cheek.

Pain control with acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be helpful. See our medication page for dosing information.

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