When a child you are caring for experiences a dental emergency, there are steps you can take to save their smile. If you are a daycare provider, alert the parent immediately so they can make an emergency appointment. If you are a guardian and can schedule the dental visit, do so right away – the more time that passes, the less likely the damaged or decayed tooth can be saved.
Until the child is picked up by their parent or you get them to the dentist yourself, there are steps you can take as a preventive or supportive measure. However, if the problem has caused any difficulty breathing, or the child has swallowed a tooth, a trip to the emergency room may be required.
Dislodged Tooth or Crown
If a tooth is completely avulsed, there are some measures you can take to preserve it and prevent further complications from arising. After gently rinsing the tooth, place it in a glass of milk or some lightly salted water. Do not try to fit the tooth back into the socket if the patient is a child, as it can pose a choking risk.
Crowns can also become dislodged, and it is important not to delay treatment as adjacent teeth can shift and gum tissue can grow, causing difficulty in replacing the restoration.
Attending to a broken or chipped tooth promptly is strongly recommended to avoid further damage and soft tissue abrasions from its sharp edges. While waiting to see the dentist, rinse the child’s mouth with salt-water and apply gauze to stop any bleeding. If pain, swelling or bleeding is severe or persists, alert the parent so they can consider taking the child to the emergency room.
Toothaches and Abscesses
For general toothaches, use a salt-water rinse to help relieve pain and if permitted, baby Orajel or a similar topical pain reliever can be used. Applying a cold compress can also help.
Abscesses are serious and should be treated by a dental or medical professional right away. Treat as you would a toothache until the parents arrive.
Eastern Dental welcomes pediatric emergency dental patients in Grand Rapids and offers affordable solutions for your child’s dental issues. If a child you are caring for has suffered a dental injury or is experiencing dental pain, you don’t have to delay getting your child treatment. Call our office for more information – We are here to help!