Parents don't often want their children to endure any pain or distress. When it comes to dental emergencies, knowing what to do in the heat of the moment can be difficult.
Recognizing when your child is having a dental emergency and understanding how best to handle the situation can help you take control of the situation and make sure your child gets the care they need right away.
Signs of a Dental Emergency
It's important that parents remain vigilant when it comes to their children's oral health. Children may not always be able to express their pain or discomfort in a way that is easily understood, so it can be difficult to determine if the situation is an emergency.
Some common signs of a dental emergency include severe toothache, broken or cracked teeth, swelling around the face or mouth, objects stuck between teeth, bleeding from the mouth, trauma involving the face or mouth, and unexplained fever. A fever may indicate an infection or abscessed tooth, which can be pretty serious.
If your child experiences any of these symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible. You don't want to wait too long and deal with a more severe condition.
What to Do in an Emergency
If your child has a dental emergency, you should first take them to an emergency dentist. If it's after hours, call your primary care dentist and ask if they can refer you to a local emergency dentist.
When you arrive at the clinic, be sure to tell them exactly what happened and provide as much detail as possible. This will help the dentist diagnose and treat your child's condition more quickly. For example, if your child has a broken tooth, let the dentist know what type of object caused the injury and how much force was used. You might also want to bring along any objects that were involved in the injury.
Dentists can often provide non-surgical treatments such as repairing chips or cracks in teeth with bonding material or providing antibiotics for infections. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. This could involve removing a tooth or repairing it with a crown.
It's important to follow the dentist's instructions when it comes to post-operative care. This will ensure that your child gets the best possible outcome from their treatment and can return to normal activities as soon as possible.
Preventing Future Emergencies
The best way to avoid future dental emergencies is through preventive care. Regular checkups and cleanings are essential for keeping your child's teeth healthy and strong.
Additionally, encouraging good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily will help reduce their risk of developing cavities or other issues that could lead to a dental emergency. Make oral care a fun and positive experience for your child so that it becomes a habit.
Also, get them mouthguards if they have to participate in any type of contact sport to reduce the risk of injury. These devices provide much-needed protection for the teeth, gums, and jaw.
To learn more about emergency dental care for children, contact a dentist in your area.