How to Stay Prepared for a Children’s Emergency
No one likes to think about what could happen if their child has a dental emergency, but it is always better to be prepared in advance for those situations. Having a plan for what you can do in case of an emergency may just make the difference between keeping or losing a tooth. Keeping calm will help your child remain calm too.
A great idea is to create your own dental emergency kit. Keep one in the car and one at home. Stock it with a handkerchief, gauze, a small container to store broken/lost teeth, ibuprofen, and your dentist’s emergency contact information.
Tips for handling common childhood dental emergencies
• What to do if a baby tooth is knocked out
Contact your dentist as soon as possible. If there is bleeding, rinse the mouth with water and place gauze in the opening. Don’t worry about trying to find the tooth -- baby teeth will never be replanted. Do not try to reinsert the tooth into the opening, as this could damage the permanent teeth growing underneath.
• What to do if a permanent tooth is knocked out
Find the tooth! Rinse it carefully in cool water; do not scrub it or use soap. If possible, place the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If the tooth does not fit in the socket or if you think your child might swallow the tooth, place it in a cup of milk, saliva, or cool water. Take your child to emergency dental care immediately. The faster the treatment, the greater likelihood you have of saving the tooth.
• What to do if a tooth is chipped or broken
You should contact your dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, put it into cold milk or water, and bring it to the dentist.
Call your dentist for these common dental emergencies:
• Severe toothaches
• Partially dislodged teeth
• Objects caught between teeth
• Lost filling or crown
• Broken braces and wires
• Soft tissue injuries
Take preventative measures
• If your child participates in sports they should always wear a mouthguard
• Childproof your home wherever possible
• Do not allow your child to chew popcorn kernels, ice, or hard candies that can crack their teeth
• Schedule regular dental check-ups
Planning for a dental emergency doesn’t need to be bad. With the right knowledge and preparation, there is no need to worry. We at Westchester Pediatric Dentistry are always here to keep your child’s smile healthy and beautiful -- even in emergencies. For additional information, or to make an appointment with Dr. Burnett or Dr. Sreenivasan, contact us at our Westchester office today.