Establishing a healthy dental routine for your child is important. You brush and floss, and you probably visit your pediatric dentist a couple of times a year during a cleaning. You can easily prepare your child for these habits and appointments, which encourages them to follow good dental hygiene early in life. However, what you cannot prepare for is a pediatric dental emergency, which often comes when you least expect it.
Instead of panicking when your child experiences a dental emergency, you can be prepared. Learn about how to react when an emergency occurs so that you provide your child with a prompt, effective treatment that minimizes pain and discomfort and can potentially save a tooth.
Pediatric Dental Emergency Types
If you’re a parent, you’re well aware that your child has boundless energy. Kids are active and curious creatures and, as a result, they might occasionally get hurt when they’re running, jumping, climbing, and playing. If they fall and injure their mouth, then a dental emergency can arise. But with the right actions, it’s no cause for alarm.
Dental emergencies for children usually fall into a few key categories that include:
- Tooth loss – If your child hits their tooth directly, it’s possible that it can be knocked out. Both permanent and baby teeth can be knocked out of the mouth, with permanent tooth loss being the bigger concern.
- Chipped tooth – An indirect hit might mean the tooth stays in the gums, but it gets chipped. A chipped tooth is often just a cosmetic dental issue and one that your dentist can address depending on the location of the tooth and whether it’s a baby or permanent tooth. It is best to see a dentist to make sure there are no bigger issues.
- Abscessed tooth – An abscessed tooth can occur secondarily as a response to tooth decay, injury, or gum disease. Signs of an abscessed tooth include red, swollen gums, pain, swollen jaw, and fever. Don’t delay in getting treatment if you suspect your child has an abscessed tooth because it is considered an emergency.
Responding to a Child’s Dental Emergency
Now that you understand what pediatric dental emergencies can occur, you need to be prepared so that you can respond to them in a calm, balanced manner to ensure your child gets the best treatment. Follow the following tips if you find your child facing a pediatric dental emergency:
- Tooth loss – First, treat your child’s pain. Offer a gauze or tissue to bite down on to stop the bleeding. Cold water or ice can help soothe any pain. Then, call your pediatric dentist to schedule an emergency appointment. If you have the tooth, pick it up gently and dip it in a glass of milk to clean it. Once it’s cleaned, you can continue to store it in the glass of milk to transport it to the dentist. Or, if your child is willing, you can try plugging it back into the socket to keep the tooth healthy. Your dentist will assess your child and design a treatment that can restore the tooth, if possible.
- Chipped tooth – A chipped tooth follows a similar protocol to a lost tooth. First, ease any pain and clean up any blood. Once your child has calmed down, look in the mouth to make sure any tooth fragments aren’t lodged in the lip or gum. If you have pieces of the tooth, preserve them. Your dentist will determine the best treatment, which may include bonding the broken tooth, filling the chip, or adding a dental veneer.
- Abscessed tooth – If your child has swelling and pain around a tooth, take their temperature to see if they have a fever. Call your pediatric dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist can determine the source of the abscess and determine the most effective treatment to relieve the pain.
You need a reliable dentist on hand to a pediatric dental emergency because these instances don’t always occur during business hours or weekdays. Keep your child’s teeth healthy by scheduling regular dental checkups and addressing emergencies as soon as they occur.
Contact Lovett Dental Upper Kirby by calling 832.780.4979 for emergency dental services and a dentist open on Saturday.