Common Dental Emergencies For Kids & What Parents Can Do To Prevent or Address

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5 Common Pediatric Dental Emergencies – And How Parents Can Address & Prevent Them

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As a parent, you want to be prepared. And you know that it’s only a matter of time before your child experiences some kind of dental emergency, whether it’s a toothache or a knocked-out tooth. What should you do when your child experiences a dental emergency, and what can you do to help prevent them and reduce their risk of an oral injury? Read on, and learn everything you need to know as Kids Tooth Team takes a look at four of the most common pediatric dental emergencies.

Common Dental Kids Emergencies

1. Toothaches

Toothaches are one of the most common dental emergencies in people of all ages. If your child is complaining about a toothache and it doesn’t go away within a day or two, the first thing you should do is call Kids Tooth Team for an emergency appointment. It’s very likely that your child has an infected tooth, and will need a pulpotomy or a root canal, depending on whether it’s a baby tooth or an adult tooth.

If your child has a toothache, you can give them over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with pain and discomfort. Icing the area near the affected tooth can help with the pain until their appointment with Dr. Alexandra Otto.

You can also use a topical numbing product like Orajel to help with their pain until they can come into Kids Tooth Team for permanent treatment. However, you should ONLY use Orajel if your child is over two years old. Kids under two can have a serious negative reaction to benzocaine, the active ingredient that’s present in Orajel and other topical tooth numbing products.

How can you prevent toothaches? The best way is to make sure your child is maintaining proper oral hygiene. Toothaches are usually caused by tooth infections, and tooth infections happen when large, untreated cavities destroy the outer layers of the tooth, exposing the interior of the tooth to oral bacteria. With good oral hygiene, you can virtually eliminate your child’s risk of getting a tooth infection and a toothache.

2. Cuts To The Tongue, Lips, Cheeks, And Oral Tissue

When kids are playing around, accidents happen. Your child may end up with cuts and lacerations if they bite their cheek, tongue, or lip when they slip and fall or have some other kind of accident. 

If your child’s mouth is bleeding, you can use a clean cotton ball, gauze, or paper towel to apply pressure to the area. If the bleeding stops within a few minutes and the cut doesn’t look very deep, you may not need to see the dentist. However, if the area is bleeding heavily, you may need to see Dr. Alex at Kids Tooth Team to have the wound stitched shut.

As far as prevention goes, discouraging horseplay goes a long way. Also, having your child wear a sports mouthguard while playing contact sports will definitely help prevent them from biting themselves if they slip, fall, or take a hit.

3. Chipped, Cracked, And Broken Teeth

If your child’s tooth is visibly chipped, cracked, or broken due to dental trauma, you need to call Kids Tooth Team right away. At your child’s emergency appointment, Dr. Alex can restore their tooth with a dental crown, and protect it from further damage.

Getting treatment for a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth right away is really important. Not only does a broken tooth cause a lot of pain, but damaged teeth are much more vulnerable to tooth infections.

Until your child’s appointment at our office, you can use a clean paper towel, gauze, or a cotton ball to absorb blood, if present. You can also give your child pain reliever like acetaminophen, and ice the outside of their mouth near the affected area.

To prevent chipped, cracked, and broken teeth, you should make sure your child doesn't get into the habit of chewing any non-food objects, like ice or pens. If they play a contact sport or participate in an extreme hobby like skateboarding, make sure they wear an athletic mouthguard to protect their teeth.

4. Loose Or Knocked-Out Baby Teeth

Your child’s baby teeth are supposed to fall out naturally between the ages of 6-12, and be replaced with adult teeth. If your child has a loose tooth and they haven’t experienced any kind of oral injury, a loose tooth isn’t anything to be worried about.

However, if your child does have a tooth knocked loose or knocked out by an oral injury, you should come to Kids Tooth Team right away. Dr. Alex will be able to treat your child’s pain and discomfort, assess their situation, and provide the appropriate treatment.

For example, if your child’s baby tooth is damaged and very loose, Dr. Alex may recommend removing it, and then replacing it with a space maintainer. Space maintainers help prevent nearby teeth from moving. This ensures that your child’s adult tooth will be able to erupt properly in the future.

5. Loose Or Knocked-Out Adult Teeth

If your child knocks one of their adult teeth loose or knocks it out altogether, you need to get help from Kids Tooth Team as soon as possible. It’s possible to save your child’s tooth, but only if you get treatment within 1-2 hours. 

If their tooth has been knocked out completely, retrieve it and put it into a container of cold milk. Then, call Kids Tooth Team and let us know about the situation. Then, come to our office ASAP. At your child’s appointment, Dr. Alex will clean the tooth, replace it, and then splint it to the nearby teeth to keep it stable as it heals.

There’s no way to completely prevent loose or knocked-out teeth, since they usually happen accidentally. But again, if your child plays any kind of contact sport or participates in activities like skateboarding, mountain biking, or anything else with a risk of falls and oral injuries, they should be wearing an athletic mouthguard. Mouthguards help dramatically reduce the risk of all types of oral injuries, including knocked-out, loose, and broken teeth.

Come To Kids Tooth Team For Emergency Dentistry In Buda And South Austin

It’s important to know what to do when your child has a dental emergency. And the most important thing to do, no matter what the emergency might be, is to see an emergency dentist in Buda or South Austin right away.

A pediatric dentist like Dr. Alex can diagnose your child’s situation, provide them with the care they need to avoid future complications, and eliminate their pain and discomfort. So don’t wait. If your child needs emergency care, call us at (512) 523-4774. Kids Tooth Team is always here to help.

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