Dental emergencies for children can quickly bring parents to a panic. While taking the child to the dentist is usually the first idea that comes to mind, the interval between the injury and the dentist is a crucial time, especially for kids’ teeth. Here’s what you should know as a parent.
The usual causes of dental trauma in children include falls, fights, and sports injuries. The last one is something you can guard against as a parent but the first two are mostly surprises for parents. This makes it more important for parents to be prepared in the event of problems.
This depends on where the bleeding occurs. If it’s from the lips, apply steady pressure on the area for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. Any blood coming from inside the mouth requires quick attention.
Your child needs to clear the blood first by gargling cold water to help soothe the wound. This should also help remove any dirt or debris that has settled inside the mouth. Once the mouth is clear of any blood, the inside of the mouth should be assessed to find out where the blood is coming from.
Blood is not the only indicator of an injury. Sometimes, there’s a significant amount of pain that your child will experience. If this happens, ask them to gargle cold water to clean out the mouth before assessing the damage. Ask the child to pinpoint the exact location of the pain. You can also perform a tap test to narrow down the cause of the injury.
Right after a good gargle, have your child open their mouth for a quick assessment. Use your phone’s flashlight and check for the source of the blood or pain. Chipped, cracked, or dislodged teeth can be easily noticed through a physical check. Note that even if you don’t see anything, it’s a good idea to bring your child to the dentist if they complain of any pain. Hairline chips can happen and are best diagnosed by a dentist.
First, be sure to clear the area of any blood and check if your child is in any pain. Do not try to re-insert the baby tooth as this could cause further damage. A knocked-out baby tooth is less severe than a knocked-out adult tooth, but it’s still important to get your child to a dentist to assess any damage to the area.
If your kid’s teeth are already permanent or if your child is over 10 years of age, the first step is to quickly rinse the tooth using warm water. Once clean, slot it back into place, making sure it occupies its original position. Grab a piece of foil and cover the tooth with it to prevent jarring. For added security, have your child bite down onto the foil so that it locks in place. Visit the dentist quickly!
For a chipped or cracked tooth, have your child bite down on a soft cloth to prevent further movement. Use a cold compress to avoid swelling. From there, go to the dentist as quickly as possible to help assess and manage the pain.
Severe swelling, knocked-out adult teeth, and any extreme pain warrant a visit to the emergency dentist. Difficulty breathing should be quickly addressed with a visit to the emergency room. This can happen if there’s massive swelling of the throat or if the blood pours down heavily which can block the passage of air.
Mouth guards are the best way to prevent mouth injury if your child is participating in sports. Make sure the mouth guard is well-fitted and that your child understands the importance of wearing them during games. There are many guards available on the market including some custom fit options available directly from your dentist.
For a chipped tooth, seeing a dentist is usually best. However, if it happens often, a pediatrician may be an option for the job. Fortunately, there are medical practitioners who are dentist pediatricians, giving parents the best of both worlds.
Chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth shouldn’t be the only reasons for your child to visit the dentist. Annual checkups are strongly encouraged for all the stages of their dental health from the emergence of baby teeth to the onset of permanent teeth.
Ideally, you should bring your children to a dental clinic that caters specifically to children, guaranteeing that they’ll be able to properly work with your child. Places like Bay Area Kids Dentist help your child through the process while making sure that they’re developing healthy oral hygiene habits and positive attitudes towards dentistry! With a board-certified pediatric dentist, parents can rest assured that their children’s dental health is in good hands.