The Dental Emergency Prep Guide
Winter weather still means outside playtime for your active kids. We all know that a little too much caffeine and sugar from the holidays combined with snow or icy weather can sometimes equal a disaster. Even jumping and playing in the fall leaf piles pose a risk of a dental emergency. Even kids running around the living room near the brick fireplace or down the icy driveway may lead to a cracked tooth or busted lip… sometimes even worse. Though we can’t always prevent our loved ones from getting hurt, knowing what to do will help you feel more prepared if your child is faced with a dental emergency.
Dental Emergencies and How to Act
Cracked or Broken Tooth
Has a backyard sledding accident caused your child a broken a tooth? Quick action could save that tooth. Broken and chipped teeth can be very painful for the child, so give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the pain until you can get to the dentist. Rinse your child’s mouth out with warm water, and place a cold compress on the face if swelling occurs.
Knocked Out Tooth
For kids that have a baby tooth knocked out, we want to avoid any damage to an adult tooth in the future. If your child accidentally loses an adult tooth, also move quickly to take care of this dental emergency.
In either case, try to find the tooth, gently clean it off, and go to your pediatric dental clinic ASAP. If possible, attempt to reinsert the tooth into the correct place in your child’s mouth. If not, place the tooth in a glass of milk, saliva, or water. Again, get to the dentist quickly.
Toothaches may happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes infections and teeth grinding may be the cause of that painful little throbbing. First, check to see if there is anything like food stuck between the teeth. Gently floss, brush, and rinse with warm salt water accordingly. Give your hurting kiddo an appropriate dose of an anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain or any facial swelling.
Bitten Tongue or Cheek
Did your child slip on a patch of ice in your backyard? Taking a tumble can often lead to a pesky bloody lip or bitten tongue. Rinse your child’s mouth out with warm water to wash away the blood. Now, it should be easier to see where the blood is coming from and how badly the area is bleeding. Apply a wet washcloth to the cut and apply pressure for as long as possible to stop the bleeding.
Broken Braces Wire or Bracket
Eating a candy or sweet treat from the holidays and uh oh! – a part of your child’s braces is broken. If there is a wire sticking out, don’t cut it. Simply apply a piece of orthodontic wax or gauze to the exposed cut wire. For a loose or broken bracket, try to apply some orthodontic wax to hold it in place until your pediatric orthodontist can fix the issue.
A dental emergency can happen at any time. In all extreme cases, it is best to contact your child’s pediatric dentist immediately. Some preventative measures include ensuring your child wears a seat belt when in a moving vehicle, baby-proofing your home, having your child wear a dental mouth guard when playing contact sports, and scheduling regular check-ups at your pediatric dental clinic.
We are here to help your child keep that beautiful smile intact. For those “Uh-oh!” moments, we are prepared and have an emergency contact. For other questions or routine check-ups, feel free to request an appointment or just give us a call. At Snodgrass-King, we believe that a healthy and beautiful smile will be the foundation of a child’s future.