Dental Emergency Procedures

There a number of precautions you can take to avoid accident
or injury to your teeth and mouth.

  • Wear a sports guard when playing active sports or activities that pose a risk of injury to the mouth.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy or anything that can crack a tooth.
  • Do not use your teeth to cut or open objects. Use the appropriate tool.

First Aid for a Knocked Out Tooth:

Immediately after the accident, locate the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (not the root). If the tooth is dirty or contaminated, rinse the root of the tooth in water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and go to the dentist as quickly as possible. If milk is not available, use water. Don’t forget to take the tooth with you!

If a primary (baby) tooth is knocked out, it should not be replanted as it could damage the permanent tooth bud in formation. Parents should not attempt to place the baby tooth back in the socket and should immediately seek the advice and treatment of a dentist.

If the accident victim shows any signs of head injury, unconsciousness, nausea, or persistent headaches, they should first be evaluated for their head injury by proper medical personnel.

Broken Tooth:

Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put cold compresses on the face to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.


Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be trapped between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Suspected broken jaw:

Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your hospital emergency department immediately.

Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA