As a parent, you have likely dealt with your fair share of scraped knees and other accidents. It can be harder to know what to do when your child sustains something that you would consider a dental emergency. Familiarizing yourself with the various different dental emergencies and knowing the right steps to take can go a long way toward providing the best outcome for your child’s oral health. Here are a few things that you need to know when it comes to handling a dental emergency.
The Signs of a Dental Emergency
Many parents have a difficult time identifying the presence of a dental emergency. Unfortunately, dental emergencies tend to be time sensitive, so it is critical to ensure that you understand some of the signs that indicate the presence of a dental emergency. Swelling tends to be a large sign of a dental emergency, especially when present in the gums, mouth, jaw, face, and potentially the neck. Dental emergencies tend to cause severe pain, especially when biting down or chewing. Bleeding and loose teeth are additional signs of a dental emergency.
Fractured and Broken Teeth
A tooth often becomes fractured or broken due to trauma to the mouth. When this occurs, it is often a very painful situation that can result in panic. It is critical to ensure that you gather all the pieces of the tooth that you are able to. Place the tooth in milk or saliva solutions to keep it preserved and prevent the pieces from drying out. You will need to visit the dentist immediately to construct a plan regarding rebuilding the tooth. This is important whether it was a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, though the action your dentist decides to take may be different depending on these factors.
Toothaches are simply no fun, and they often indicate underlying issues that require treatment from a dental professional. If your child is experiencing a toothache on a regular basis, you will want to schedule an appointment for a dental exam. Ensure that you check their teeth for food particles or foreign objects, as these can certainly cause toothaches. Removing these particles can help alleviate the pain. Other methods for handling the pain before the dental visit include the use of a cold compress or over the counter medications. Contact our office for more information regarding safe ways to alleviate tooth pain for your child.
Oral sores can be caused in many ways and are small wounds that are present inside of the mouth. They may occur as a result of cheek biting, overbrushing, irritation from braces, or burns from particularly hot drinks or food. They are almost always incredibly painful. You may be able to reduce the pain with the use of a cold compress. Over the counter solutions are also designed specifically for the treatment of canker sores and can go a long way toward reducing pain. It is important to ensure that the mouth is kept very clean during this time, as the presence of food particles or bacteria can lead to infection of the wound.
Knocked Out Teeth
The steps you should take following knocked out teeth are basically the same whether the tooth was a baby tooth or a permanent one. The dentist will ultimately determine whether to put the tooth back in the mouth or provide another method to protect oral health. It is possible to save a tooth after it has been dislodged from the mouth. It is important to note that time is of the essence in these situations if you wish to have any chance of saving the tooth. You should never handle your child’s tooth by the root, as this can allow bacteria to make its way inside of the tooth. Handle the tip of the tooth carefully, instead.
You may want to rinse the tooth off with water. Don’t scrub the tooth and don’t use any other chemical or cleaner on the tooth. Then you will want to place the tooth in a milk or saliva solution, because it is important to keep the tooth moist and prevent it from drying out. It may be possible to insert it back into its place in the gums. Ensure that you bring your child into our office immediately, because the chances of saving the tooth decrease drastically the longer the tooth has been out of the mouth. It is generally best to receive treatment within an hour of the initial accident.
Objects Caught in Tooth
Objects can easily become caught in the teeth and they often result in painful consequences. If your child has an object lodged in their tooth, you should gently try to remove it with the use of dental floss. Ensure that you never use any sharp tools to try to remove these objects. Not only can these objects cut your child’s gums, but they may even scratch the protective surface of the teeth. If you are unable to remove the object with the use of dental floss, you will want to bring your child to our office for professional treatment and to ensure that the object is removed safely.
Cracked teeth can be particularly difficult to detect, especially if it is located in the back of the mouth or another area with difficult visibility. For this reason, it can be especially helpful to understand the signs that are associated with cracked teeth. Pain that comes and goes, as well as sharp pain while biting down or eating are often indications that a tooth is cracked. This may also cause the tooth to be more sensitive to temperature fluctuations, such as drinking a hot or cold beverage. The root may become visible if the crack grows to an exponential degree, as well. You may be able to use ice packs or certain over the counter medications to help your child handle the pain. Schedule a dental exam to have their teeth examined and rectify the issue.
When it comes to dental emergencies, it is important to obtain the services of an experienced dental professional. If you visit an emergency room, they likely won’t have the equipment necessary to help a tooth that may otherwise have been saved. It is also important to take steps to prevent these injuries from occurring, such as teaching your children not to bite down on hard objects or ensuring that they practice an oral hygiene routine that strengthens their teeth. To learn more about dental emergencies, contact our office at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry today!