Fairview Park’s Trusted Pediatric Dentists Explain How To Handle Common Child Tooth Emergencies
Childhood dental emergencies, such as chipping or cracking a tooth, or knocking out a tooth altogether, are very common. Knowing what to do (or maybe even more importantly, knowing what not to do) during a dental emergency is important, so you can respond appropriately if your child has a dental related injury. Taking quick action can help save an adult tooth and improve overall healing.
Parents should understand that all dental emergencies, even ones that seem small or insignificant, are best evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible. A Cuyahoga Falls dentist can examine your child’s mouth to make sure there is no additional injury to their mouth, other teeth, or jaw. An examination and treatment for a dental emergency can also prevent pain and protect the long term health of a damaged tooth. Read on to learn more about how to handle some common child tooth emergencies.
Broken Or Chipped Teeth
Surprisingly, many children do not even notice when they have chipped a tooth. If the root of the tooth is not exposed, they may not even feel any pain. However, larger chips or cracks can be very painful for children. Follow these steps if your child cracks, chips, or otherwise breaks a tooth:
- Contact your pediatric dentist immediately for an emergency appointment.
- Rinse the child’s mouth with water to clean it out and remove any blood.
- Consider a cold compress wrapped in a towel on the child’s face to help reduce any swelling or pain. An ice pack or even a bag of frozen vegetables (such as peas or corn) works very well.
- If possible, save the tooth fragment to show to the dentist.
Dental Avulsion (Knocked Out Tooth)
When a tooth is completely knocked out of your child’s mouth, it’s important to contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Sometimes, a permanent tooth can be re-implanted into the socket and saved. In this situation, time is of the essence. The re-implantation procedure is most successful when performed within one hour of the injury. Sometimes, the trauma or injury will cause damage to the permanent tooth that is not repairable, but whenever possible, your child’s dentist will try to re-implant the permanent tooth that has been knocked out because it is the best situation long-term. Usually, dentists do not attempt to re-implant or save knocked out baby teeth because the re-implantation procedure can damage the bud of the new tooth coming in. If your child knocks out a permanent tooth, here are some steps you can take to help:
- Contact your Fairview Park dentist for an emergency appointment.
- Recover the tooth. Avoid touching it by the roots – only handle it by the crown, which is the part you normally see in the mouth.
- Carefully rinse off the tooth under clean running water, without scrubbing or scraping it.
- If your child is older: insert the tooth root first into the socket with gentle pressure. Have the child hold it in place by biting down on a clean piece of gauze or washcloth. If this does not work well, you can also try to have them hold the tooth gently in their cheek.
- If your child is younger: Never try to re-implant the tooth or put it back into the child’s mouth, as they may swallow it! Instead, place the tooth in a glass of milk or saliva. Water or saline solution can also be used.
- Moisture is critical for re-implantation success, so be sure to get the tooth submerged within minutes of the injury. Keep the tooth wet while you head to the dentist.
- As a reminder, do not try to re-implant a baby tooth, as this could damage permanent teeth.
This is a common problem for children of all ages and seldom happens without a cause. In children, toothaches are most commonly caused by cracks, trauma to teeth from an injury, tooth decay or cavities, or the eruption of new teeth. You can help your child by trying some of the following:
- Offering a cold compress as described above
- Checking for and removing any impacted food
- Cleansing the affected area with warm water.
- Contact your Ohio dentist right away if pain is severe, or schedule an appointment if pain is persistent.
Although parents cannot prevent every fall or injury, most dentists recommend child proofing your home to prevent falls, and having your child wear a mouthguard while playing sports. These two steps can significantly reduce your risk of dental emergencies.
Contact Our Experienced Dentists In Ohio!
If you have questions about your child’s teeth or are seeking guidance for a pediatric dental emergency, contact Pure Health Dental to schedule an appointment. Our experienced dentists listen to your concerns and provide world class, personalized treatment for each patient. We are the top rated dentist in Ohio! Call one of the seven Pure Health Dental locations today, or conveniently schedule your appointment online through our website.