Emergency Dentistry in Del Mar, CA

Emergency Dentistry

The first thing to remember is to stay calm. Injuries to the mouth, face, and teeth frequently happen in children. Remaining calm and taking prompt action will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child’s discomfort.

Second, assess whether or not your child’s injury involved hitting the head, causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment. If this is the case, your child should see a physician immediately. Worry about the mouth and teeth later.

Third, try to stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth or gauze. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, look for them. Sunny Smiles Kids Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is here for your child in the event of a dental emergency. We also have emergency pediatric dental specialists on call and available to your family after hours by phone.

Broken Tooth

Gently clean or rinse dirt from the area around the break. Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken took to minimize lip or facial swelling. If the fracture is more than one-half of the tooth, contact our office for immediate attention.

Knocked-Out Tooth

  • For permanent teeth – Find the tooth and if the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in cold water, but DO NOT scrub or handle the root unnecessarily. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by closing on a gauze pad or washcloth. If it is not possible to replace the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk, or if this is not available cool water. Contact our office for immediate attention. Time is important for saving the tooth; less than 30 minutes is the best.
  • For primary (baby) teeth – Baby teeth are not re-implanted, and this is not an emergency. The tooth fairy will have to be at work earlier than scheduled. Control any bleeding by applying pressure with a gauze pad or clean washcloth. Call our office and schedule an exam as soon as possible. It is essential to evaluate the health of the surrounding teeth and gums.

Loose Tooth

If your child’s permanent or primary tooth becomes loose as a result of trauma, first check to see if there is any bleeding. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure using a gauze pad or clean washcloth. Dental trauma resulting in loose teeth requires immediate attention from the dentist. Contact our office for an emergency dental appointment.


Clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm saltwater and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.

Contact our office for a prompt appointment.

Bitten Tongue or Lip or Cheek

If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply an ice compress to the injured area. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Possible Broken Jaw

Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc., over the top of the head. Apply cold compresses. Go to an oral surgeon or hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught Between the Teeth

Try to remove the object with dental floss. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Do not use a sharp metal object. If you cannot remove it, contact our office.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, then repeat as necessary.

Cold or Canker Sores

Some children will get these periodically. Placing vitamin e oil over the area, or other over the counter medications will usually give relief. If they persist or are extreme, contact our office for prompt attention.

Orthodontic Emergencies

If there is a loose bracket that is irritating the lips or gums, attempt to remove the bracket with tweezers and place it in an envelope. If there is a loose wire sticking into the cheek, see if you can place it into the tube in the back of the mouth. If you can’t, and you cannot get to the office, cut the end of the wire with a cuticle nipper.

Finally, check to make sure your child’s dentist is available for emergencies ahead of time. Keep his or her phone number handy and make it known to your babysitters, pediatrician, and your child’s school nurse. You don’t want to be looking through a phone book during those stressful moments!

24-hour Emergency Care

The phone number to contact Sunny Smiles Kids’ 24-hour emergency dental care is 858-755-0059. A voicemail paging service is available to contact the doctor on call.