Emergency Info

Emergency Dental Information

Young child in dentist chair. At Children's Dentistry of Amarillo, we're committed to helping our patients develop beautiful, healthy smiles that will last them a lifetime. Dr. Metcalf and his highly trained team of pediatric dental specialists work hard to make sure every patient is on the right path to dental and oral health. But, while a consistent oral hygiene regimen and frequent visits to our Amarillo office are usually enough to keep teeth healthy, sometimes unexpected dental emergencies occur. When they do, it is important to know how to proceed.

If your child experiences a dental emergency, it is critical to seek out medical attention immediately. This page will give you more information on how to handle specific situations, but if you're unsure about something, it is always best to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room. And if your child experiences anything close to a dangerous or even life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.


Brief toothaches are common, and if your child experiences one, start by trying to clean the area around the sore tooth with warm salt water. NEVER use aspirin on the aching tooth or gum. However, you can use acetaminophen for temporary pain relief. If your child's face begins to swell, use a cold compress to keep the swelling down. Contact our Amarillo kids’ dentist as soon as possible to let us know about the incident, and we'll give you more detailed instructions for how to proceed.

Bitten or Cut Tongue, Cheek, or Lip

For a minor cut, applying ice to the area will help keep down the swelling and the pain. If the cut is bleeding, you may need to apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze to stem the bleeding. If bleeding continues for more than 15 minutes even with the applied pressure, it's time to go to the emergency room.

Broken Tooth

If your child breaks a tooth, start by rinsing the area with warm water and using a cold compress on the face over the area of the injury. Recover any tooth fragments you can and call us immediately. If it's after hours, head straight to an urgent care facility or emergency room.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If your child accidentally knocks out a permanent tooth, the first thing to do is recover the tooth – but be careful to hold it by the top (crown) instead of the long root. Rinse the tooth, but avoid handling it more than necessary, then try reinserting it into the socket and holding it there with gauze or a clean cloth. If you can't reinsert the tooth, carry it in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. Time is of the essence; so if it's after hours, go to the emergency room.

Potential Broken Jaw

This is the most serious injury on the list, so you'll need to treat it as such. If your child experiences a serious jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Then go straight to the emergency room.

Bleeding After Losing a Baby Tooth

Some bleeding after losing a baby tooth is normal. If your child experiences this, try folding over a piece of clean gauze and placing it on the area, then have your child bite down on it for about 15 minutes. If the bleeding persists after that, call our office or head to an emergency room.

Cold Sores and Canker Sores

Cold sores and canker sores are both common and usually nothing to worry about. Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief. If sores become a larger problem for you, feel free to contact us, and we can take a look.

Contact Your Amarillo, TX Office

If you have more questions about how to deal with a dental emergency or would like to arrange an appointment with our pediatric dentist, our team is always happy to help. Feel free to call us at 806-351-0008, reach our Amarillo, TX office children’s dentistry via our Contact Us page, or fill out our easy online form. We look forward to helping your child develop a beautiful, healthy smile!