If your child experiences a dental emergency, you may be frightened and worried. While seeking pediatric dentistry emergency care is a priority, there are some things you can do before bringing your child to the dentist's office. These interventions may help make your child's treatments easier for both the young patient and the dentist. While panic may set in, try to stay calm so that you can think rationally and so that your child remains calm. Here are some ways to handle a pediatric dental emergency before going to the dentist.
Save the Tooth
If one of your child's permanent teeth has been knocked out from his or her mouth, try to find the tooth. When you locate the tooth, avoid touching the root and only pick it up by the top of the tooth. Next, gently rinse off the tooth, but don't dry it or handle it any more than you need to.
If the tooth is still intact, gently place it back into the socket. After the tooth has been securely placed in the appropriate socket, have your child bite down on a clean piece of paper towel or gauze. Once the tooth has been secured, go to the dentist. If you are unable to put the tooth back in place, gently place it into a small container filled with milk. This will help maintain the health of the tooth.
If your child develops a severe infection of a tooth's pulp, he or she may experience severe pain. Administer an over-the-counter pain reliever, which will help keep the child comfortable. In addition, place a cold compress or insulated ice pack over the affected area to relieve inflammation of the soft tissue.
A pulp abscess is considered a dental emergency because if an abscess is not recognized and treated quickly, the infection can spread. In addition to pain, signs of a dental abscess may include a bad taste in the mouth as a result of draining pus, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, inflamed gum tissue near the infected tooth, and sometimes, bleeding gums.
If the abscess has spread, your child may develop a fever, chills, muscle pain, and nausea. The dentist will examine and clean the infected tooth and then prescribe antibiotics. If the abscess caused significant nerve or root damage, your child may be referred to a pediatric endodontist or oral surgeon for additional treatment.
If your child sustains a dental emergency, consider the above interventions and then seek out a pediatric dentistry. Prompt dental intervention will help ensure that your child has a favorable outcome.