Dealing with a pediatric dental emergency can be very stressful if you do not know what to do. Quick and appropriate action is crucial, but there are many different kinds of dental emergencies, each requiring different actions. It is also easy to confuse what is and is not a true emergency.Sometimes it can be hard…
Pediatric Dentistry Tips – Dealing With a Child’s Toothache
Those who follow pediatric dentistry understand how vital the work is. Dealing with patients as young as infants may prove challenging to those who are not prepared. Parents often rely on these providers' advice to help their children. When it comes to caring for a child's dental health, a toothache may become a huge problem. Consider these tips from those who are trained on how to deal with this issue.
Common causes of toothaches in children
Kids cannot always vocalize what exactly is wrong. Depending on the age of the child, they may tell parents their mouth hurts, but sometimes not much more. A toothache may point to specific conditions or a mouth injury that requires medical attention. These are the most common causes of tooth pain in children:
- New teeth placing pressure on adjacent teeth
- A cavity
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Food particles stuck between teeth
If a parent is unsure about what is causing the pain, a trip to the pediatric dentist is warranted.
Pediatric dentistry tips on dealing with pain
What happens when a toothache crops up in the middle of the night or on the weekend? Unless there are signs of an infection or injury, a parent may be able to help with pain at home until the dentist opens.
Wash the mouth out
Warm water and salt make a dynamic duo for cleaning out the mouth. A saltwater rinse can help dislodge any particles around the sore area and also help remove bacteria that may be hanging around. At this time, a parent can examine the area that hurts. If the gums are swollen and red with a bubble, the problem may be an abscess or infection. A fever adds to this suspicion. This requires a trip to an emergency dentist, as does a visual hole, crack or chip in the tooth or gum in the area of the pain.
Administer over-the-counter pain medication
Depending on the child's age, the parent may give an over-the-counter pain medication to help ease the pain. If the child reports a reduction in pain, the issue may be a new tooth coming in and not something worse. Parents may also try a numbing gel applied to gums if an erupting tooth is the culprit.
Call the dentist
Even if it is the weekend, continued pain warrants a call to the dentist's office. The staff can ask further questions to help diagnose the problem. Further solutions may be offered, such as gently brushing and flossing the tender area to remove food that may be stuck. However, if the gums or tooth show any obvious signs that something is wrong, skip this and request an appointment.
Dental practices that deal with kids understand the need for sensitivity and quick action to help ease any kind of oral discomfort a child feels. Pediatric dentistry offices are an invaluable resource in the event of a toothache.
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