How to Deal With a Child’s Dental Emergency

We all want to save our kids from having cavities but another aspect that our kids need help and regular protection is from inevitable emergencies. While these, for both children and parents, are always distressing, they are also incredibly frequent. Around one third of kids have suffered a form of dental trauma, and more have experienced a dental emergency.

Active kids tend to run and play, but it also means that occasionally they can slip and injure themselves. There are two peak dental fracture risk periods: the first is adolescence (18-40 months) when environmental discovery starts, and the second is the pre-adolescent/adolescent era when sports accidents become widespread. Mouth complications can be a frequent consequence of these behaviours and age.

Anytime and anywhere, dental injuries might happen. A dental emergency is similar in some ways to treatment about every other injury. Some of the most serious pediatric dental emergencies, in addition to useful tips on how to cope with them, are detailed below.

1. Check for Bleeding

When teeth fell out following an injury due to certain conditions, nearly everyone feels a little bit of bleeding. Although it is not a dental emergency to have a little bit of gum bleeding, you do need to be very vigilant. It might be time to see a dentist if your child suffers serious gum bleeding and swelling. A dentist will inspect the gums to determine the cause of bleeding and swelling and perform the procedures required to aid your child injury’s condition.

2. Stop the Bleeding by Applying Pressure

Bleeding may become a natural occurrence following an accident or an unwanted tooth extraction. Grab an emergency kit and search for the appropriate materials to deal with the bleeding. To prevent bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket in the case of teeth extraction, add a gauze pad and advise your child to bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad positioned by you on the affected area. Keep the pad in place until it controls the bleeding. Otherwise, you can go to the dentist to handle it early, professionally, and reduce the chance of infection and for fast recovery.

3. Cracked or Broken Teeth

The largest, most visible portion of the tooth is the crown. The crown is the part of the tooth that sustains damage in the majority of cases. There are multiple tooth fracture classifications, ranging from mild enamel fracture that is not an emergency to exposure of the pulp that needs urgent care.

Using dental X-rays, the dentist can accurately determine the seriousness of the crack, but any shift from normal to pinkish colour of tooth is a sign for an emergency. Minor fractures sometimes need dental sealant application, whereas more serious fractures often need treatment with the tooth’s pulp. In the event of a tooth pulp exposure or fracture, it is safer to call the dentist.

Here’s how you can apply first aid:

  • With warm water, clean the child’s mouth.
  • Place the impacted region with a cold, damp compress.
  • Offer a pain reliever.
  • Pack the tooth with a substance that is biocompatible.
  • Depending on the level of severity of the incident, contact the dentist.

1. A Knocked-out Permanent Tooth – Handle It by the Crown Only

Examine first your child’s injury and be sure that it is not severe. When a knocked-out permanent tooth is discovered, grab a clean flask and place the tooth safely and keep it moist at all times by placing it in container with milk, or by using a tooth preserving device that has the Seal of Approval of the American Dental Association (ADA). Then, quickly get to the dentist’s appointment.

There is no need to moisten a primary (baby tooth) so, if possible, take it to the dentist if available. Dentists commonly do not aim to re-implant avulsed primary (baby) teeth, as the re-implantation process itself can cause damage to the bud of the tooth and thereby damage the permanent developing tooth. If it is done within one hour of avulsion, the re-implantation process is almost always more effective, so time is important.

Here’s how you can apply first aid:

  • Do not touch the roots of the tooth.
  • Rinse with water to be free from dirty substance and debris.
  • Do not scrub or scratch the tooth during cleaning.
  • Use subtle pressure for older children in implanting the tooth into its original socket or allow your child to insert the tooth into the cheek pouch.
  • Do not attempt to reinsert the tooth for younger children to avoid swallowing. Instead, submerge the tooth in a bottle of milk or saliva.
  • Do not let the tooth to become dry. For reimplantation operation, moisture is critically essential.
  • Call your dentist for consultation and possible treatment.

2. Assess the Severity

Quick and efficient action on your part will help ensure that your child will survive without lasting oral trauma if a tooth has been knocked out or other dental emergency. The primary phase you need to do is assess the condition of the problem. Next, decide whether it is a must to see an emergency dentist immediately or this is something that can wait. It is a great step to help avoid infections and manage bleeding by holding a dental first aid kit and learning how to use it. Keeping a dental first aid kit and knowing how to use it is a good move to become ready all time and prevent future injuries become serious.

3. Toothache

Toothache is normal and happens seldom without cause in children of all ages. Remnants of foreign matter between the teeth after consuming food can cause discomfort in young children.

Some common causes of toothache are: tooth cracks, tooth loss, tooth damage, and eruption of wisdom teeth (adolescence). If discomfort continues, call the dentist for you or your child to receive a check-up after performing several interventions to help ease the pain and identify the root cause of toothache.

How you can aid:

  • Check for impacted food. Cleanse the area by gargling warm water to clean it out.
  • To remove any food stuck between the teeth, gentle use of dental floss helps.
  • Avoid medicating the aching tooth or gums with aspirin as this might burn and damage the gum tissues.
  • If the affected area swells, apply a cold compress.

Be Prepared

Be armed with a dental first aid kit at all times. A dental first aid kit is an ideal way for children to be medicated early for emergency dental treatment. Along with other items to better cope with dental issues, it can include many of the same items found in a typical first aid kit. Place the first aid dental kit alongside your standard first aid kit wherein it can be reached and found easily. Things that can be part of a kit that are identified by the National Health Institute and these include:

  • Gauze pads
  • A small cup
  • Mouthwash
  • A cold compress
  • A tooth storage device and fluid

Knowing how to cope with a dental emergency could play a very important role or can make the difference between saving your child’s permanent tooth and avoid losing it. It is important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency department as soon as possible for any dental emergencies triggered by a number of incidents that result in your child’s teeth being knocked out, smashed, chipped or fractured, or even getting a broken jaw.

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