Injuries to the head, face, and mouth are common in young children. Even when parents do their best to keep children safe, oral injuries can happen. Most oral injuries happen when young children are learning to walk. The top front teeth are injured most often.
Tips to help you know what to do for common oral injuries:
Tongue or lip injured. Clean the injured area. Press a clean washcloth on it to stop bleeding. Keep your child’s head up and facing forward to prevent choking. Put ice, wrapped in a clean washcloth, on the area to reduce swelling. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 30 minutes, take your child to your child’s dentist or doctor right away. If the dentist or doctor is not available, take your child to the nearest urgent care center right away.
Tooth chipped or cracked. Clean the injured area. Contact your child’s dentist or an urgent care center right away. Have your child rinse with water, if possible. If there is bleeding, press a clean washcloth on the gum around the tooth to stop it.
Tooth knocked out. Contact your child’s dentist right away. Do not try to put a baby tooth back into the mouth. Clean the injured area. If there is bleeding, have your child bite on the area with a clean washcloth for 15 to 30 minutes to stop it.
Tooth knocked loose, moved, or pushed into gum. If your child’s tooth has been knocked loose, moved forward or backward, or pushed into the gum, contact your child’s dentist or an urgent care center right away. Have your child rinse with water, if possible. Press a clean washcloth on the gum around the tooth to stop bleeding.
Toothache. If your child has a toothache, it is likely that the tooth has a cavity. Make a dental appointment as soon as possible to find out what the problem is and get treatment.
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Series: Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles
Last Updated: November 9, 2022