Dental Emergencies

Please call our office immediately at 813-264-6000 if your child is currently experiencing a dental emergency.

In the event you are uncertain as to whether your child is experiencing a true dental emergency, or if you would like to know more about how to best proceed with a particular type of dental emergency, feel free to use the following information provided.

Broken or Chipped Teeth

If your child has broken or chipped their tooth, have them rinse their mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off and call us immediately. If the tooth has been chipped or broken in such a way that it has exposed the inner pulp of the tooth, it is important you contact us immediately.

Knocked Out Teeth

If your child’s tooth has been knocked out of the mouth entirely, first find the tooth and rinse it with water (without soap). Be sure to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when the tooth is properly positioned in the mouth). If you can, try to place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with a clean towel or cloth. If you can’t return the tooth to its socket, place it in a clean container with milk. In either case, call us immediately and/or go to the hospital. Though primary (baby) teeth are generally not re-implanted, it is possible to save a permanent (adult) tooth if immediate action is taken. If one of your child’s primary teeth has been knocked out, you will want to schedule a visit to our practice as soon as possible so that Dr. Ruelf can ensure there are no fragments of tooth remaining.


If your child complains of a toothache, rinse their mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. During this inspection, also check for the presence of swelling. You may use a cold compress and/or pain relievers to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, since this can cause damage to the gums. Schedule an appointment with our office immediately.

Loose Teeth

If your child has a very loose baby tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled. For loose permanent teeth, or if you are uncertain as to whether the tooth in question is a permanent or primary tooth, please contact us immediately.

Displaced Teeth

If a tooth is moved due to trauma (injury), call us as soon as possible. It is important that you do not try to move the tooth back into position on your own. For any mouth discomfort prior to seeing the dentist, apply ice.

Broken Jaw

If you know or suspect your child has suffered a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call us and/or go to the hospital immediately. In many cases, a broken jaw is the result of a greater injury to the head. These types of injuries can be dangerous, and potentially, life-threatening. Immediate action is therefore necessary.