What to Do in the Event of a Pediatric Dental Emergency
Three-year old Johnny is playing at a bounce house when he trips, falls and hits his mouth on the floor. There is a lot of blood, but thankfully his teeth appear intact. Do you know what to do next?
February is Pediatric Dental Health month. With thousands of dental emergencies occurring each year it is important for parents to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to take them on.
In the case of Johnny, the mouth is highly vascular. That is typically why so much blood is present. Even though his teeth appear to be intact, injury may have been done to the developing permanent teeth. In this case, you should contact your child’s dentist and ask if he needs to be seen.
Here are some other dental emergencies you should be prepared to handle
Knocked-out (avulsed) Tooth
In this case you should try to find the tooth. If you can locate it, hold the tooth by the crown (part of tooth normally visible) and rinse it in water if it is dirty. If possible, gently insert it back into the socket. Ask your child to try to keep it in place with a clean towel as you head to the dentist’s office. If this is not possible, place the tooth in milk and bring it to the dentist. Re-implanting primary (baby) teeth is not generally done, however, with quick response, adult or permanent teeth can often be successfully re-implanted.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Although the enamel in your teeth is very hard, it can break or chip. This is especially true if there is already some decay present. Rinse the mouth with warm water and then apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If you can find the tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist’s office.
If your child’s tooth is extremely loose, it should be removed to prevent it from being accidentally swallowed.
If a broken jaw is suspected, promptly contact your child’s dentist or head to the emergency department. Cold compresses gently applied to the jaw will help reduce swelling.
If your child is complaining of a toothache, try to find out if anything obvious is causing the pain. Rinse out their mouth and then inspect it to see if there is anything caught between his teeth. If the pain continues, apply cold compresses (not hot) to the area and contact your child’s dentist for an appointment.
With active children, dental emergencies can happen. Knowing what to do to prevent injuries is key. If your child plays contact sports, have them wear a mouthguard. It is also important to teach your child about good oral hygiene, as this will cut back on many of the dental emergencies that can happen. For more information on pediatric dental care, contact our Fayetteville pediatric office at 910-486-5437 or visit us online.