Accidents happen innocently and quickly. You may be enjoying a beautiful summer day outside with ou children when one trips and falls, knocking out a tooth. Little can cause more fear than when your child experiences trauma to the mouth or severe mouth pain.
When a dental emergency arises, you need to know what to do. Often you can salvage a lost or chipped tooth if you know the right steps. Keep reading to learn how to respond when you or your child has a dental emergency.
Step one is often the most difficult when your child has a dental emergency. Seeing blood and a wayward tooth may make you queasy. Anxiety may even take over.
It’s important to remember at this point that your child needs help. The calmer you stay, the calmer they will become. So take a breath and assess the situation.
If your child has a tooth knocked out, then if possible, reinsert it into the socket. If you cannot do this, put it in a glass of milk. Hold a clean cloth or gauze firmly over the socket to stop the bleeding.
Remember that dentists deal with dental emergencies all the time. So while the emergency you’re facing may feel like a total catastrophe, a good emergency dentist has probably seen and treated a similar case before. Here are some common dental emergencies.
- Knocked-out teeth
- Jaw pain
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken jaw
- Objects stuck in the mouth
Oral care professionals will know the perfect dental care for each of these emergencies. So you don’t have to worry about how to fix the problem you’re facing. You just need to stay calm and contact a dentist.
Now that you’re calm and have called a professional for the dental problems you’re facing, you can act accordingly. Some dental issues may seem less emergent than others. Whatever the case may be, the sooner you act at home, the more quickly your child will find relief.
Here are ways to handle common dental emergencies.
Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water to remove any debris that may be causing the toothache. Then examine their teeth carefully, and use dental floss to remove any food stuck between their teeth.
If your child has a swollen mouth or cheek, hold a cold compress to the outside of their mouth. Then see your dentist as soon as you can get in. Make sure to mention your child has severe pain, especially if the pain keeps them up at night.
Note that severe pain may be more than just a problem with a tooth. Your child may have an abscess or an infection in their mouth. If your child develops a fever with mouth pain, contact the dentist immediately.
Untreated, an abscessed tooth can lead to a massive infection and even death.
Immediately after the accident that chips or breaks the teeth, save any pieces of teeth that you can. Then have your child rinse their mouth with warm water. Rinse the broken teeth that you salvaged.
Have your child apply gauze to any areas that are bleeding. Use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth to relieve pain and swelling. Then seek out your dentist immediately.
Find the missing tooth and hold it only by the crown or the part that you can see when the tooth is normally in the mouth. Rinse the root off with water if it has debris on it. Leave the tissue fragments intact.
If your child allows you to, try to put the tooth back in place, ensuring you have the correct way facing out. Do not force it into the socket.
If you cannot put the tooth back into the socket, put it in a small container of milk, and call the dentist immediately. You have the best chances of salvaging the tooth if you can see a dentist within an hour of the tooth being knocked out.
Hold a cold compress over the outside of the mouth in the affected area. Give your child some children’s Tylenol to alleviate the pain. Then have your child see a dentist immediately.
Lost Filling or Crown
When your child loses a filling, stick a piece of sugarless gum in the missing filling area. You can also use over-the-counter dental cement to temporarily fill the hole. Then seek the dentist immediately.
When your child loses a crown, save the crown and get to the dentist as soon as you can. If your child is experiencing pain, swab the area with clove oil that you can find at a local drug store. If you can slip the crown back over the tooth, do so, using dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive to temporarily hold it in place.
If your child’s braces break or loosen, place an eraser on the end of the broken wire, and try to reattach the broken braces with orthodontic wax for a temporary fix. Then contact the orthodontist to have the braces fixed immediately.
Mouth trauma will often lead to soft tissue injuries including injuries to cheeks, gums, the tongue, and lips. To control the bleeding, rinse your child’s mouth with a mild salt-water solution. Then apply pressure over the bleeding site with a moistened piece of gauze for 15 to 20 minutes.
While your child has the gauze in their mouth, hold a compress to the outside of their mouth or cheek to relieve pain and slow down the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, go to the hospital emergency room or see your dentist immediately.
Stay Calm, Seek Help
A dental emergency looks like a reason to panic. But to keep your child calm, you need to remain calm. Follow the basic steps according to the emergency, and then call your local dentist.
Are you looking for a pediatric dentist? If so, give us a call. We provide comprehensive oral health care for all ages of children from infancy through adolescence. We seek to give children a positive association with dental care so they can establish positive habits and continue to have excellent oral health into adulthood.
Contact us today. We will make your child’s dental experience a pleasant one.