What to Do When Your Child Has a Toothache

When Does a Toothache Warrant a Trip to the Dentist?


As a parent you never want to see your child in pain, and a child that has a toothache can experience a lot of discomfort. A toothache can have several potential causes; there could be trauma to the tooth, a cavity, an infection or abscess, or a new tooth may be erupting and causing pain. Below we’ve put together a list of a few things you should do if your child is experiencing a toothache.


1. Assess the situation

First thing to do is gather as much information as to why your child is having tooth pain. Is the pain constant, or just when they are chewing? Is the tooth loose, broken, or damaged from a fall or accident? Is it sensitive to hot and cold? Are there any obvious signs of a cavity such as a dark spot or a hole in the tooth? Is the tooth chipped or broken? Are there any other symptoms such as swelling or a fever? All of the above information will be very helpful for the staff when you call to make an appointment.


2. Make an appointment

Call your child’s dentist right after your assessment. They will more than likely ask you some version of the questions above and depending on the situation will need to see your child right away.


3. Pain Management

If you child can take medications like Motrin or Advil, they can help relieve the tooth pain more than Tylenol. However aspirin is never a good pain medication for children. If there is a swelling an ice pack can help but NEVER use a heating pad, a heating pad can make the swelling worse.


4. Treatment

The dentist will need to examine your child in order to determine the cause of the pain and make recommendations for care. Most often the appointment will start with an x-ray so the dentist can see the whole tooth and then an exam will be completed to assess where the pain is coming from. After this is done your dentist will be able to determine the best treatment for your child’s toothache.


If your child ever has a toothache just remember to remain calm. If you get worked up and worried your child will as well. Assess the symptoms and call your child’s dentist office and they will handle it from there.

As always if you have any questions please call us, we are here to help!

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