A child’s early years are a time of learning, playing and new adventures. But as most parents know, childhood can come with its share of mishaps. Knowing what to do in case of a dental emergency, can save a lot of grief for you and your child.
What you should do if your child has:
- Bitten a lip or tongue. If the bite is severe enough to cause bleeding, gently wash the area and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call your dentist to determine how serious the bite is.
- An object caught between teeth. Use dental floss to remove it gently. Never use a metal, plastic or sharp tool. If you’re unsuccessful, call your dentist.
- A broken, chipped or fractured tooth. Try to find and save the tooth or any tooth fragment. Have your child rinse the mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call the dental office immediately.
- A knocked out tooth. Locate the tooth and rinse it with water, holding it by the crown only. Place the tooth in a clean container with milk. Call the dental office immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly, it may be possible to save the tooth.
- A loose tooth. A very loose tooth should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
- A toothache. Rinse the mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth for anything that may be caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease any discomfort. A children’s pain reliever may be taken orally. Schedule a dental appointment immediately.
- A broken jaw. In many cases, a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. A severe head injury can be dangerous and even life-threatening. If you suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call your dentist and/or head to the hospital immediately.
A dental emergency can take center stage, especially when your own child is affected. Being informed on the best course of action will help minimize the damage.