Emergency Pediatric Dental Care

At Coastal Kids Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, our job is to ensure every child has a healthy, happy smile. We take pride in our profession and have a passion for what we do – not just because we love dentistry, but also because we care for your kids. That’s why we offer emergency services at our practice. When faced with a scary, unexpected situation, we want you to know what to do as a parent, and we want your child to be cared for in a familiar environment, surrounded by friendly faces.

Offering emergency dentistry services in our San Diego, CA office means your child will be safe when accidents happen, and you will know your next steps. As assistance in handling various emergency situations from wherever you are, we have created a guide that outlines some common accidents we see, along with some detailed instructions. 

Of course, you are always welcome to contact our office, but the below information may help you cope with these situations more quickly and confidently. Please call our office if you have any questions.

Broken Tooth

The area around the break should be cleaned gently using warm water. To minimize swelling of the lips or face, place a cold compress on the affected area. If the fracture extends over one-half of the tooth, please contact our office.

Knocked-Out Tooth

  • For permanent teeth – Find the knocked-out tooth and pick it up by the crown (top of the tooth). If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with a warm stream of water; do not scrub the tooth! Attempt to place the tooth back in its socket and instruct your child to bite down on a clean cloth to hold it in place. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a clean glass of milk and immediately contact our office for further assistance. It may be necessary to visit a hospital for re-implanting the tooth.
  • For primary (baby) teeth – Losing a baby tooth is not considered an emergency, and it will not need to be re-implanted. However, we do suggest that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible, so we can check gum tissue and surrounding teeth for damage. In the meantime, control any bleeding by applying clean gauze to the wound.

Loose Tooth

If your child’s permanent tooth has become loose due to trauma, contact our office immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. Until you arrive, instruct your child to bite down on a clean piece of gauze to limit further movement of the tooth.


Instruct your child to swish their mouth with warm salt water; this can help draw out impurities in the gum tissue and loosen trapped food particles. Using dental floss, carefully floss around the painful area. Contact our office for an emergency appointment.

Pain can be addressed by applying a cold washcloth to the exterior of the cheek. Do not use any topical treatments on the gum tissue, as this can cause further pain or damage.

Bitten Tongue or Lip or Cheek

For bleeding, apply clean gauze to the wound using steady pressure. Manage pain by a cold washcloth or ice pack to the cheek or lip. If bleeding persists, visit the nearest hospital for treatment.

Possible Broken Jaw

It is essential that your child does not move their jaw if there is the potential of a fracture. Stabilize their jaw by tying a scarf or necktie around their jaw and travel to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Objects Caught Between The Teeth

Use dental floss to attempt to remove any stuck object. You may suggest tying a knot in the floss to catch trapped particles more easily. If this does not work, contact our office for an appointment.

Bleeding After A Baby Tooth Falls Out

Use a clean gauze pad to stop bleeding and gently hold over the area for 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary until bleeding stops.

Cold or Canker Sores

Cold or canker sores can be relieved by applying vitamin E oil to the sore. If the sore is particularly painful, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies can occur due to loose brackets and wires on your child’s teeth. In the case of a loose bracket, use tweezers to remove the bracket and bring it with you to your child’s repair appointment.

We’re Here When You Need Us

As a team, we care about your child’s health and safety and want to work with you to keep their oral health in excellent condition. When emergencies occur, we make it a point to be present for our patients and their parents. We understand that these situations are unpredictable, and it is imperative that you are prepared. This may help to reduce some fear surrounding the situation, so you can effectively calm your child. 

If your child faces a dental emergency in the future, you can feel confident knowing that you know what to do next. If you have any questions, contact our office today!

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