how to deal with pediatric dental emergencies

pediatric dental emergenciesIf you are like most parents, you hope that you never have to deal with a dental emergency like a cracked or knocked out tooth. However, it is important to be prepared for these situations so that if they arise you will know how to act quickly and effectively to ensure the best outcome possible for your child’s smile. In this post we will discuss some common pediatric dental emergencies, and what you should do if you find yourself in these emergency dental scenarios, as well as a few easy tips for avoiding pediatric dental emergencies.

Common Pediatric Dental Emergencies:

A Knocked out Tooth

One of the common pediatric dental emergencies that we see is knocked out teeth. If your child has knocked out a permanent “adult” tooth it is critical that you keep that tooth moist as you transport your child from the scene of the incident to your pediatric dental office.

When possible, the American Dental Association suggests trying to put the tooth back into the socket while being very careful not to touch the root. However, if this is not possible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in milk, using an ADA tooth preservation product, or placing the tooth between the gum and cheek of your child’s mouth.

If the tooth in question is a baby tooth, you do not need to keep it moist, however, you should try to find the tooth and bring it to the dentist if possible.

A Toothache

Another common dental emergency among children is a toothache. If your child is suffering from a toothache you should rinse the area with warm salt water to remove anything that might be trapped between their teeth.

You can also try gently flossing to remove food that may be stuck. However, do not place aspirin on the gum or tooth, as this can actually burn your child’s gum tissue, worsening the situation. If your child’s toothache persists, you should get them in to see their dentist as soon as possible.

A Cracked Tooth

If your child has cracked a tooth it is important to bring them to their dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, clean the affected area by rinsing your child’s mouth out with warm water. After this, use a cold compress on the area to prevent and minimize swelling.

A Bitten Tongue or Lip

Similarly to a cracked tooth, if your child bites their tongue or lip, you should clean the injured area with warm water and minimize swelling with a cold compress. If the injury seems severe, you should seek treatment at your dentist office or an emergency room.

Tips for Avoiding Dental Injuries

Obviously, the best option is to avoid dental emergencies altogether by taking preventative measures. Some easy ways to keep your child safe from dental emergencies include:

  • Ensuring your child wears a mouthguard when participating in sporting events
  • Do not allow your child to chew popcorn kernels, ice, or hard candies that can crack their teeth
  • Regularly take your children to visit their pediatric dentist to ensure that their teeth are strong and healthy
  • Eliminate trip hazards within your home and use gates to keep children from falling down stairs
  • Watch your children closely, and do not allow them to put objects like toothbrushes or pencils in their mouth while running around in the house

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Chattanooga or the surrounding area contact us today. Our team of experts is here to keep your child’s smile healthy and beautiful — even in emergency scenarios.

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