When it comes to healthy teeth, kids are at moderate risk of having dental trauma. The most common causes of this include playing sports, falls, and fights. As most parents and guardians know, children are prone to accidents in general. This type of trauma can range from a chipped tooth to the tooth being knocked out.
Depending on the age of the child, they may have their baby teeth affected. Trauma to the baby teeth is not insignificant but adult teeth will grow in as the child grows and usually help to resolve the problem.
If a child faces a dental emergency, it’s a good idea to call an emergency dentist promptly. Most dentists keep normal hours but not all of them are available after hours. Look for an emergency dentist in the area and keep their office number handy. In addition to seeking out prompt treatment, there are some steps that you can take at home.
If your child has knocked out a tooth, it may be possible to replace it. Find the tooth and then rinse it with water although do not use soap. Try to only touch the crown of the tooth and then place it in a clean container with milk to keep it moist. Call the emergency dentist promptly and then head to the hospital if you don’t get a response. Depending on the shape of the tooth, it may be possible to save and replace it. This likely won’t be possible if only part of the tooth has been knocked out but you should assess the area to determine if there is an empty socket or one with a blood clot in place.
Object Caught in Teeth
Kids often get items stuck between their teeth. This may not be an emergency situation and if you can resolve it at home, that’s your best option. Use dental floss to try and gently remove the area. Waxed, thin dental floss works best and won’t irritate your child’s teeth. Make sure that you never use any tools that are metal, plastic, or sharp to try and remove the object. If you can’t remove the item with dental floss, then give the dentist a call.
Broken, Fractured, or Chipped Tooth
This is fairly common if your child has been struck in the mouth or suffered a fall. If they have broken off just a piece of the tooth, then have the child rinse their mouth out with warm water. Use an ice pack or other cold compress to reduce swelling and pain to the area. If you can locate the tooth fragment, keep it safe and then call the dentist immediately.
Most kids will lose their teeth naturally as they grow older. If the tooth hasn’t suffered from any trauma but is simply loose to allow room for adult teeth to grow, then you should remove the tooth when it starts to be noticeably loose. If you leave it in place, your child may swallow or inhale it by accident. Generally, mild pressure will be adequate to remove the tooth. If you’re not sure whether the tooth is appropriate for removal, call the dentist.
If your child complains of a toothache, then rinse the mouth out with warm water. Look at their teeth to see if there is anything caught in them or they have any trauma to the face. If they continue to have pain, use a cold pack to ease the painful area. Avoid using any heat in the area or any topical pain relievers as this may cause some damage to the guns. Children’s pain relievers that are taken orally can be taken. For a mild pain that doesn’t affect their immediate health, you can schedule an appointment. However, if your child is in severe pain and refuses to eat or drink, then it’s best to act promptly.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Dental trauma doesn’t just refer to tooth damage, they may also bite their tongue or lip hard enough to cause bleeding. In this scenario, clean the area with water and then use a cold wet towel pressed against the area to slow bleeding and avoid swelling. For bleeding that persists or severe pain, you may want to contact the dentist as well.
If you think that your child has a broken jaw, then you should first use an ice pack in order to cut down on swelling. Call the emergency dentist or head to the hospital. Since this is a more severe injury, your child will likely need more expertise than just a dentist. In many cases, a broken jaw is caused by a blow to the heat. This can lead to more dangerous and even life-threatening problems so you’ll want your child to be seen by an emergency physician for closer monitoring.
Although it’s much easier to prevent an injury than to treat it, children are fairly accident-prone. You can do your part to limit this trauma by trying to make your home fall-proof. It’s also a good idea to not let your child chew on ice and other hard foods that could damage their teeth. Always use the appropriate car seat or seat belts in case of car accidents.
Finally, if your child plays a sport, it’s a good idea to have them wear a mouthguard. A dentist can create a custom-fitted mouthguard fairly easily although you can use a basic one as well. You should also try to prevent toothaches and other problems by encouraging regular brushing, flossing, and regularly scheduled office visits.
Even with all of these precautions though, you may still encounter dental emergencies. If your child faces this or similar mouth-related problems, then it’s best to seek out an emergency dentist promptly. If you need urgent treatment, have the number of an emergency dentist handy. These tips can help you determine if the problem is severe enough to seek out medical attention promptly or if you can manage it at home.