What makes a dental emergency? When to take your child to a pediatric dentist right away…

When life happens, the magic of pediatric dentistry isn’t always at your immediate disposal. One day, your child could wake up in the middle of the night with a toothache, and you’ll have to wait until nine in the morning to see a dentist. No big deal, right? But what if you can’t wait until nine in the morning? What if little Timmy tried to climb the counter to reach the cookie jar and knocked a tooth out? Well, there are actions you can take at home to ease your child until your child can receive proper dental care.

If they have a toothache…

Somebody’s been reaching that cookie jar, no? If your child becomes bothered by a toothache, the first thing you can do is rinse your child’s mouth with warm salt water. If your child’s face swells, applying that frozen bag of peas to the area and administering some Tylenol will ease your child’s discomfort. Still, call your pediatric dentist at your earliest convenience.

If they chipped a baby tooth…

While a chipped baby tooth looks bad and may panic your child, it actually isn’t that much of an emergency. The tooth is going to eventually fall out anyway, right? Might as well get a head start! In all seriousness…a chipped baby tooth is nothing to be overly concerned about. A chipped baby tooth can be addressed at opening hours or at your next pediatric dentist appointment.

If they knocked out a baby tooth…

Again, it looks bad for sure, but a baby tooth falling out is typically not a dental emergency. You may take your child to the dentist, but treatment is not even necessary most of the time. Still, better safe than sorry!

If they chipped a permanent tooth…

This is where things start getting worrisome. The most you can do in this situation is save the missing part of the tooth and immediately contact your pediatric dentist. Early treatment can lower the chances of infection and other complications.The chipped piece of the tooth can sometimes be reattached as well, so make sure you’re saving the knocked-out fragment if possible!

If they knocked out a permanent tooth…

Okay mom and dad, Timmy’s in trouble here! There’s quite a few things you need to do to ensure the best possible outcome of a lost permanent tooth.

  • The first thing you have to do is find the tooth. Fast. Time is very critical in a situation like this.
  • Rinse the tooth off with some water and hold it by the crown. Avoid touching the roots.
  • Do NOT rinse off any hanging tissue off the root!
  • Finally, stick that rogue tooth right back into the socket, where it belongs! Surprising advice? Maybe. But this is called re-implanting, and if you save that tissue, it can possibly heal back into place. However, only do this if the tooth isn’t fractured and if your child is okay with it. A panicking child in pain may not want things stuck inside of their wound. If this is the case, keep the tooth in a container of milk or, as gross as the sounds, the child’s saliva. To save the tooth, you have about half an hour’s time to get professional help for your child. See your pediatric dentist immediately!

Did you know children ages 7-11 are at the highest risk of suffering facial injuries? Be sure to insist that your child always wears headgear when participating in sports. When dental injuries do occur, act quickly and consult a pediatric dentist right away!

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