Life is pretty much unpredictable. Nobody knows for sure as to when the accidents will happen and when there will be an emergency. This is particularly true in case of young kids who are very active, playful and mischievous. Their innocence and mischief might often result in disasters and painful emergencies.
Kids are particularly prone to dental emergencies because of their involvement in games which include frequent falls and injuries and their childishness in everything – opening a packet by biting, refusing to maintain dental hygiene, etc. In this article, we shall look into 6 Tips to Handle Your Kid’s Dental Emergency. So here are a few common dental emergencies found in children and how you as a parent should react if they happen to your kids.
This is one of the most commonly occurring dental emergencies in children. Studies suggest that about 10.7% of the children in the United States suffer from a toothache. This can happen because of a number of reasons including dental cavities, decay, etc. Whatever be the reason, toothaches are uncomfortable, especially for the kids to handle. Parents should take proper care for them to feel better. Here is a list of things that you can do:
#1 Apply cold packs
Apply ice packs on the affected area. This numbs the sensations and provides immediate relief from the pain and also reduce inflammation. You may also want to administer over-the-counter painkillers with your dentist’s prior approval.
#2 Clean the area with warm water
Clean the tooth and its surrounding area with warm water and floss around the painful tooth. This helps to remove plaque or any food leftover in between the teeth. You may also want to ask the child to cleanse his/her mouth with mouthwash.
#3 Make an appointment with the dentist
If the above two tips don’t work, it is best to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
#2 Cold Sore or Canker Sore
Canker sores are also very commonly occurring and painful oral condition in children. According to the studies, they may occur due to periodic fever, pharyngitis, cervical adenitis syndrome, etc. Here, there are many painful blisters that are formed inside the mouth. Here are a few ways to handle them:
#1 Over-the-counter medications
Most of the time, over-the-counter medications are sufficient to heal these painful canker sores. You may give your child those medications and wait for about 7 days until they completely heal. (the period is the typical time for cankers to heal completely) However, if they do not heal or there are any further complications, you can always visit your dentist. Note that canker sores are not always the disease itself, they might also be a symptom of something more serious, hence, it is probably best to involve a dentist.
#3 Bleeding bruises in the mouth
This may happen if your child has accidentally bitten her tongue or cheek which may cause bleeding cuts in the area. First of all, you need to stop bleeding. For this, apply gentle pressure on the bleeding wound for about 20 seconds so that the bleeding stops. If it doesn’t, rush your child to an emergency room or the dentist.
If the area is swollen, it is important to reduce the swelling by applying ice on the affected area.
#4 Broken Tooth
Broken teeth may happen very frequently when the children are very young, thanks to their games and other activities. If your child has a broken tooth, first clean and rinse the affected area with warm water and check for any misplacement of the teeth and/or bleeding. If these conditions are present, take your child to the dentist immediately. Remember to place ice packs on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. If your child is very agitated, the dentist might use sedation dentistry to first calm him/her and then begin the treatment.
#5 Damaged Permanent Teeth
If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, this is a serious condition to consider. Try to find the tooth and store it in a cup of milk because water can erode away the layers of teeth which renders the dentist incapable of placing the teeth back into your child’s mouth. Also, try not to clean the tooth too much with water, the dentist will be the best person to decide what to do with the tooth.
Also, timing is very important. It is crucial to take the tooth and the child to the dentist immediately. Ideally, the dentist should put the knocked-out tooth within 30 minutes of the accident.
#6 Keep Calm
This is probably the most important tip. If your child has any dental emergency, it is important for you to keep calm and handle the situation carefully because if you become disturbed, the child will get even more disturbed and scared. If your child has anxiety issues, you and your dentist may consider using nitrous oxide sedation through large safe masks so that the child calms down and the treatment becomes easier.
Also, do not yell at the child for landing up in that sort of dental emergency. Instead, give him/her all the support and positive encouraging words and help keep their spirits high. Rush the child immediately to the dentist.
So, these were a few tips to follow when your child has a dental emergency. Just remember routine dental hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, etc. can actually reduce the intensity and pain of these conditions. Also, take your child to the dentist regularly so that your child’s smile is always healthy and spotless.