Injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. More often than not, as parents, we get nervous and worried when our children get hurt from a bump or a bruise. And sometimes, it’s even terrifying not knowing how to deal with it and make the pain go away. Believe it or not, dental emergencies are fairly common in children because they are active. Knowing what to do when they happen is important.
Here are some of the dental emergencies that you may face and we, at Kidsmile, will help you handle them:
1. Knocked out baby tooth
If a baby tooth is knocked out too soon, it can bring about other teeth crowding the vacant spot. This can lead to alignment issues when the permanent tooth begins to appear, and could eventually lead to crooked teeth and biting problems. Visit your pediatric dentist within 24 hours if your child prematurely loses a baby tooth. Your dentist will be able to check the permanent tooth and provide your child with a spacer if necessary to prevent any crowding that may occur.
2. Knocked out permanent tooth
If your child loses a permanent tooth, then it is necessary that you visit your dentist right away. Store the tooth in a clean container of cool water or milk. If the dislodged tooth is stored properly, then your pediatric dentist may be able to reinstall it.
3. Fractured tooth
Fracturing a tooth is almost like a childhood rite of passage. Kids play rough, and sometimes, their teeth get accidentally hit. If your child fractures a tooth, gather the fragments left and store them in a clean container of cool water, saliva, or milk. Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put a cold compress on the face to keep any swelling down. See your child’s pediatric dentist as soon as possible to prevent infection and complications due to the chipped tooth. Your dentist will be able to repair your child’s tooth or fix it with a crown. Rinsing with warm water will also soothe the pain for the meantime as you take them to their dentist.
4. Persistent toothache
If your child is experiencing a persistent toothache, it is best to immediately have them rinse their mouth with warm water to ease the pain and clean it out. If there is food caught between the teeth, gently use a string of dental floss to remove it. If the pain still persists for more than 48 hours, it’s best to take your child to his/her pediatric dentist. If neglected, this can lead to a more serious dental problem.
5. Stuck object inside the mouth or teeth
For food stuck between the teeth, try to gently remove it with a dental floss but avoid using a pointed or sharp tool. When an object impacts the surface of their gums, please take them to the dentist or to the emergency room. Objects, when not removed, may cause pain, swelling, and infection.
How to prevent a dental emergency?
There are a number of simple precautions to take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:
- Have your child wear a mouthguard (and helmet when appropriate) when participating in sports or recreational activities.
- Supervise young children and do not let them run around with objects in their mouth (eg. tooth-brush, pencils, etc.)
- Reduce trip hazards in your home and use gates to block stairways and dangerous areas from young children
- Visit the dentist as recommended by your pediatric dentist to make sure your child’s teeth are healthy and strong.
Always remember that whenever you encounter dental emergencies, aside from being calm, it is best to take your child to his/her pediatric dentist as soon as possible to avoid further injury and restore oral health.