Parent's Guide to Children's Dental Trauma

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth or preventing long term damage to the area. So what do you do
when your child has an accident that involves their teeth?

Here at Derby City Pediatric Dentistry, we never want you to spend all night or weekend worrying or for your child to be in pain. If your child has an accident and there is damage to the mouth area, please view our “Dental Trauma Guide” below. We will see your child immediately if necessary. When dealing with a dental accident, time is very important. Please note, we are available after hours for dental emergencies. Contact us HERE.


What to Do if Your Child Has Dental Trauma

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Primary Teeth (Baby):
1. If the tooth hasn’t moved position or is just chipped, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Korie for an evaluation.
2. If the tooth has moved position and is loose, try and gently reposition the tooth. This will allow the tooth to heal properly.
3. If the tooth is very mobile or just barely attached to the gum DO NOT reposition the tooth.
4. If the tooth completely comes out DO NOT put tooth back in its socket.
5. Lastly, if you cannot find the tooth at all, two things may have occurred. The child has swallowed it (you will see the tooth in the stool) OR the tooth has been pushed back into the gums. ALL OF THE ABOVE requires a visit to a pediatric dentist for multiple reasons. X- rays are extremely important to either establish a baseline x-ray or to determine the viability of the tooth and any necessary treatment.

Permanent Teeth:
1. ANY trauma with a permanent tooth should be seen by Dr. Korie for evaluation.
2. If a permanent tooth is avulsed (comes out completely) either put it back in ASAP or place the tooth in milk. If no milk is available then saline (contact solution) is the next choice. Do NOT put in water. The best prognosis is putting the tooth back in the socket ASAP.
Note: If other non-dental injuries have occurred, visit the Emergency Room immediately for evaluation and then contact Dr. Korie.

Think Prevention!

There are a number of simple precautions to take to avoid accident and injury to your children's teeth:

  • Have your child wear a mouth guard for appropriate sports activities and a well-fitting helmet when biking, skating, or riding a scooter.
  • Instruct children to use scissors properly (supervised if a young child), and NEVER his/her teeth to cut or tear things.
  • Supervise young children and do not let them run around with objects in their mouth (eg. tooth-brush, pencils, etc.).
  • Reduce trip hazards in your home and use gates to block stairways and dangerous areas from young children.
  • Visit Derby City Pediatric Dentistry every 6 months to make sure your child's
    teeth are healthy and strong.

Dear Derby City Pediatric Dentistry Families,
By now you are all aware of the measures being taken statewide to slow the spread of COVID-19. I’m writing to update you with the practice protocols Derby City Pediatric Dentistry will follow in the coming weeks or longer. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we determine the best way to keep our families, our team, and the greater population safe.

For now, Derby City Pediatric Dentistry will be closed from March 17, 2020, until further notice, in an effort to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of this virus. If your child has a scheduled appointment during this time, we will be in touch to get your child rescheduled once we have a better idea of when it’s safe to resume normal operations. We are developing strategies to accommodate future additional needs.

This decision was not made lightly, but necessary in order to protect our patients, our team and our doctors after reading updated recommendations by the CDC and OSHA. Dental procedures generate a large number of droplets and aerosols. The latest advice is that our standard personal protective equipment is not effective enough to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, especially when patients are in the incubation period and are unaware they are infected. This is especially unique to our profession as children are being found to be asymptomatic carriers. This means that screening is no longer considered effective in capturing all who may be infected with the virus. Continuing to provide dental treatment and cleanings at this time is just not appropriate when trying to limit this virus.

OSHA has placed dental professionals in the “very high exposure risk” category regarding COVID-19. Current recommendations are that dentists and team members wear N95 masks for dental treatment during this pandemic. However, not only are these masks extremely difficult to obtain at this time but most importantly, they need to be conserved for other professions that are at the forefront of fighting this virus.

If your child has a true dental emergency, there will be a doctor to assist you. Please do NOT go to any Emergency Rooms and call our office first at 502-254-6097.

Rest assured that we are reading scientific and government recommendations, talking with local colleagues, and taking direction from our national organizations. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause, but it is imperative that as a community, we slow the spread of this virus, and that requires extreme measures. We are aiming to help flatten the curve by implementing this policy. We remain committed to the safety of you and your family! Please call us if you have any questions.

We appreciate your understanding as we all try to navigate through this situation.
Stay Home and Stay Healthy!

Dr. Korie Acord and the Derby Pediatric Dentistry Team