Dental emergencies usually come out of the blue. You can’t usually predict when they will happen, but you can make sure you are prepared. This article will take a look at three of the most common dental emergencies that occur in kids and offer some tips for dealing with each one.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Wearing a mouthguard can help protect against chipped teeth when kids are playing sports like hockey and baseball. But accidents still happen, and kids will be kids! If your child chips a tooth, follow these steps:
- If you can find the broken-off piece of tooth, put it in a container of milk of water.
- If your child’s broken or cracked tooth is dirty, rinse the area with some clean, cool water.
- Apply ice to the outside of the mouth if there is any pain. Do not apply ice directly to the damaged tooth.
- Call the dentist; if their office is not open, they will refer you to an emergency dentist. Small chips that do not expose the tooth pulp may be able to wait until the next day for repair.
Most chipped and cracked teeth can be fixed! Smaller chips can often be repaired via bonding, which is a procedure very similar to applying dental fillings. Teeth with larger chips may need to be covered with a crown.
What do you do if the tooth gets knocked out completely? This is definitely an emergency situation. Knocked-out teeth can often be placed back in the jaw, but only if you get to the dentist within an hour — and the sooner the better. Follow these steps.
- Find the knocked-out tooth. If it is dirty, rinse it with clear water. DO NOT USE ANY SOAP. Do not touch the root portion of the tooth.
- If your child is in pain, you can give them a dose of ibuprofen.
- Place the tooth back in its socket, making sure that it is facing the right way. Have your child bite down on it gently.
- If you cannot get the tooth back in its socket, place it on a container of milk.
- Call your child’s dentist or an emergency dentist, and head to the office ASAP.
Your child’s dentist will attempt to place the tooth back in the jaw. If this is not possible, they will clean the empty socket and make plans for a tooth replacement, such as a dental implant.
Most toothaches can wait until the next day for treatment. You can give your child a dose of ibuprofen to ease the pain. If the pain remains out of control, or if the toothache is accompanied by a high fever or dizziness, treat it as an emergency. Apply ice to the outside of your child’s mouth to ease the pain and call the dentist. Severe toothaches are usually due to an infection, and your child will likely need antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to deal with common dental emergencies in kids. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact us or ask during your child’s next checkup appointment.