Skip Navigation

Smile Michigan Public

News Releases

Follow the latest news and information from the Michigan Dental Association. We’ll keep you updated on current association activities, including the local community involvement of our member dentists.

OKEMOS, Mich.— You know what to do to protect your child in the event of a fire, tornado or power outage, but what about a dental emergency? Thousands of dental emergencies – from injuries to a painful, abscessed tooth – happen every day. Would you know what to do if your child broke a tooth or had a tooth knocked out while playing outdoors?

February is National Children’s Dental Health month and the more than 5,500 member dentists of the Michigan Dental Association want to make sure you are prepared if your child experiences a dental emergency.

Knowing what to do can reduce pain and even save a tooth that might otherwise be lost. Follow these tips if you are faced with one of the more common dental emergencies.


Rinse mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food or other debris that may be caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth, as this could burn gum tissue. Don’t rely on painkillers – if the toothache persists, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.

Knocked-out Tooth

Remain calm and try to find the tooth! Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse, do not scrub, the root in water if it’s dirty, however be careful not to remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If not, put the tooth in a cup of milk. Time is critical to save the tooth, so try to get to your dentist immediately.

Broken Tooth

Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use an ice pack or cold compress to help reduce the swelling. Do not use aspirin for pain — it’s a blood thinner and may cause excessive bleeding. See your dentist as soon as possible. Treatment will be determined based on how badly the tooth is broken.

Broken Jaw

Apply a cold compress to control swelling and immediately go to the emergency room.

Lip or Tongue Bite

Clean the area gently with a clean cloth and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the bleeding can’t be controlled, go to the emergency room. To reduce bleeding from the tongue, use gauze to pull the tongue forward and apply pressure on the wound.

About the Michigan Dental Association
The MDA works to educate the public about oral health, promotes the science and art of dentistry, and provides educational materials and services to its 5,500 members, enhancing their ability to provide quality care.

Back to Media  |

Copyright © 2018 Michigan Dental Association
Smile Michigan® is a registered service mark of the Michigan Dental Association
Website design and development by Web Ascender