Let’s face it; dental emergencies can happen. And just as the word indicates, emergencies are those events that can’t be foreseen, and when they occur require immediate attention. But what exactly are common dental emergencies? What needs to be done when these dental emergencies happen? We’ve outlined the five most common dental emergencies and what it is that you need to know to handle them.
Top 6 common children’s dental emergencies
When it comes to their children, parents will do anything possible to keep them safe. Sometimes things happen, however, that can’t be controlled or prevented, resulting in an emergency. Parents who are aware of common dental emergencies and what should be done are better equipped to seek the appropriate dental or medical attention and provide their children with greater chances of a complete dental recovery.
1. Knocked-Out Tooth
Every parent worries about their child tripping or falling and knocking out some teeth. And to be clear, knocked-out teeth do happen far more frequently than you might realize. If this unfortunate event happens to your child, you must know what to do and how to treat a knocked-out tooth. First and foremost, it’s critical to control the bleeding. If possible, find the tooth, avoid touching it with your bare hands, and clean the tooth with water right away. Avoid using soap when washing.
If your child has lost a baby tooth, do not try to save the tooth, as the dentist will not be able to implant it. If your child has lost a primary tooth, put the tooth, do not touch the root of the tooth. Instead, put the tooth in a cup of cold milk (not water) or, if the child is old enough, tuck the tooth into the socket it came from or in the cheek of the child’s mouth, which will preserve the tooth in case the dentist is able to use it. Then, hurry your child to a pediatric dentist or emergency kids’ dentist, based on whoever is available fastest.
2. Loose Tooth
Sometimes accidents happen and a tooth gets loosened without being knocked out. If your child experiences a loose baby tooth, know that the tooth will eventually fall out anyway. Most kids will start losing their teeth around age six. If your child loses their tooth before this time, a pediatric dentist may choose to put spacers in to make room for the eventual permanent tooth. Or, the dentist may decide to do nothing. Regardless, your child’s pediatric dentist will likely take X-rays to ensure that no damage has been done to the bone that holds the tooth in place.
3. Chipped, Cracked, or Fractured Tooth
If your kid’s tooth is cracked, you are probably wondering what you should do. But first, you should understand that though teeth can chip or fracture due to poor oral hygiene, when it comes to a dental emergency, a chipped or fractured tooth is more likely due to some form of trauma. Kids might get hit in the face while playing sports. Occasionally kids trip and fall and fracture a tooth. Regardless of the reason, a chipped or fractured tooth requires dental intervention.
Before heading to the dentist:
- Rinse out your child’s mouth with clean water.
- If you identify swelling, place a cold compress on the child’s cheek where the injury has occurred.
- If you have located the tooth fragment, try to preserve it and bring it with you to your emergency dentist in Salem, Oregon.
Your child’s pediatric dentist will determine the appropriate dental treatment, and you will receive instructions on how to care for your child’s repaired tooth when you get home.
4. Injuries to Lips, Cheek, or Tongue
If your child has experienced an injury to their lips, cheek, or tongue, there are a few methods you can use to help right away. If possible, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage. Ensure that your hands are clean before coming into contact with the injury. Wash your hands before and after treating the wound.
If the injury is located on the lips or the outside of your child’s mouth, wash it with soap and water once the bleeding has stopped. Avoid scrubbing the wound and take care to remove dirt particles from the affected area. Let the cool water run over the wound to ensure all particles wash away, because a dirty injury is more likely to scar.
Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic lotion and check the wound daily, making sure it is clean and dry. Until the wound has fully healed, ensure it is covered with sunscreen with a 15 SPF or higher for complete protection.
5. Suspected Broken Jaw
If you believe that your child may have broken their jaw, you must seek emergency dental or medical care immediately. Typical symptoms of a broken jaw include bruising or swelling on the child’s chin, lips, or gums, or what appears to be a crooked or misshapen jaw.
Your child may also experience missing or loose teeth, have nausea or vomiting, or complain of pain or a lump on the part of their jaw located below their ear. In some cases, your child may feel tingling or numbness on the chin or lower lip, and in extreme cases, may have trouble breathing, eating, talking, or even opening their mouth.
The treatment that your child will receive will vary based on their exact condition. However, the typical treatment for a broken jaw will likely include a prescription medicine to control pain, antibiotics to prevent infection, jaw wiring to keep the jaw secure, and possibly surgery to return the jawbone to the normal position if it is determined that the fracture is severe.
Though many things can cause toothaches, occasionally a toothache can be brought on due to trauma. If your child has a toothache due to trauma and has blood or debris in their mouth, you can help them to rinse it away with lukewarm saltwater. This saltwater solution can also soothe injured gums and give your pediatric dentist a better opportunity to look at the mouth and assess the appropriate treatment plan.
Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry Is Here to Help with Common Dental Emergencies
As we know, accidents happen, especially with young children. Any incident or condition that causes severe or unrelenting oral pain or discomfort can be considered a dental emergency. If your child has experienced any of the common dental emergencies shared in this article, be sure to call us right away. There is a reason that we are known as the best pediatric dentist in Salem, Oregon. We are there to support you and your child if they’ve experienced dental trauma, and we are always available to assist with emergency dental care.