What Should You Do if Your Child Has a Dental Emergency?

February 1, 2024
As a parent, dealing with any medical emergency involving your child can be stressful, especially if it's a dental issue. Dental problems in children, like injuries, infections, or loose and knocked-out teeth, need urgent care and can turn severe if left untreated. Knowing about a dental emergency and how to comfort and care for your child while seeking prompt, professional treatment is key.

How can you tell if your child has a dental emergency?

Watch for this emergency dentistry red flags:
  • Severe toothache, jaw pain, sensitivity, or swelling in mouth/gums
  • Injuries and trauma from falls or sports causing cracked, loose, or displaced teeth
  • Heavy, uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth area
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or drooling
  • High fever with facial swelling
Suppose your child has any of these issues along with being in unrelieved pain or distress. In that case, it may indicate a dental emergency needing immediate ER or dentist intervention. Don't wait - seek help right away!

What constitutes a dental emergency for kids?

Dental emergencies for kids include:
  • Knocked-out permanent teeth -Seek care ASAP!
  • Bitten tongue or lips needing stitches
  • Abscesses with facial swelling, difficulty swallowing/breathing
  • Severe tooth fracture or luxation causing extreme pain
  • Jaw injuries that may require wiring
These traumas need monitoring and possible stabilization before referring you to a pediatric dentist near you or an oral surgeon. Getting timely care improves outcomes.

When should you take your child to the ER for dental trauma?

Emergency dentists near me and emergency rooms should be accessed immediately if your child experiences:
  • Loss of consciousness after a head/mouth injury
  • Uncontrolled severe bleeding from the mouth
  • Very large facial or mouth laceration from trauma
  • Extreme pain, pus discharge, or inability to open mouth
  • High fever signaling infection
Don't delay care, as you could risk further complications or permanent damage. Safely transport your child to the ER right away in such cases.

How can you comfort a child with a painful dental issue?

Between getting home care or professional treatment, ease your anxious child by:
  • Giving the over-the-counter pain reliever okayed by your dentist or pediatrician
  • Using cold compresses on the outside of the injury to reduce swelling
  • Have your child do gentle salt water rinses after meals (for mouth soreness or wounds)
  • Serving soft, room-temperature nourishing foods
  • Distracting them with screen time, reading, music, or games
Stay positive but firm and acknowledge their discomfort. This will pass, and treatment will make them feel better soon!

What home care helps relieve kids' dental emergencies?

For issues like minor injuries, loose teeth, or pain from a lost filling/cap, you can provide dental office near recommended comfort care at home:
  • First, clean the injured/affected area gently with water
  • To decrease edema, use an ice pack covered in a cloth
  • Have them do light saltwater rinses to keep the area clean
  • Use dental wax or OTC dental cement to reattach loose crowns/fillings temporarily
  • Avoid certain hard, chewy, acidic, or hot/cold foods that can irritate
  • Give only soft, lukewarm, nourishing foods till they can get professional care
Call your pediatric or family dentist as soon as possible, too!

Should you contact your pediatric dentist right away?

Yes! After meeting urgent hospital/ER needs, quickly connect with your child's regular dentist in Crofton, MD, for follow-up care. Pediatric dentists are highly experienced in handling childhood dental issues and emergencies. They will examine your child, provide treatment, follow-up care instructions, and advise on preventing future problems. Certain dental traumas, like injuries to emerging permanent teeth, need quick action to restore form and function. So book an emergency or the next earliest visit.

How can dental injuries in children be prevented?

A parent's role in protecting their child's dental health includes:
  • Making them wear custom mouth-guards during contact sports play
  • Ensuring they use helmets for bike riding, skating, skiing, etc.
  • Installing corner cushions on sharp-edged furniture, safety gates, etc.
  • Keeping small objects that can be accidentally swallowed/ aspirated out of reach
  • Serving a wholesome, tooth-friendly diet
Cultivate good oral hygiene habits, too, right from infancy. And make sure they get regular dental check-ups and prompt care for any issues. You can help prevent or reduce costly, painful childhood dental emergencies with diligence! Cultivate good oral hygiene habits, too, right from infancy. And make sure they get regular dental check-ups and prompt care for any issues. You can help prevent or reduce costly, painful childhood dental emergencies with diligence! For exceptional pediatric dental care, visit Stoute Dental in Crofton, MD.
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