Dental Trauma and Emergencies in Kids – What to do!
Accidents can sometimes be unavoidable, but with the right information, you can reduce the impact of dental trauma by following these guidelines.
As a parent there is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain. So therefore what do you do if you child develops a toothache?
If your child experiences a toothache, it’s important to promptly schedule an appointment with your dentist. If there is an infection, it needs to be treated without delay, so try to avoid postponing the appointment.
In the meantime, you can also follow these steps for temporary relief:
Have your child thoroughly rinse their mouth with warm salt water (mix a teaspoon of table salt with a glass of water) and use dental floss to gently remove any food or debris stuck between the painful teeth. Avoid using sharp or pointed instruments, as they may cause tooth damage or injury to your child.
You can give your child paracetamol for pain relief until they can see the dentist. Make sure they swallow the paracetamol rather than applying it directly to the aching tooth or gum.
If there is swelling, apply an ice pack on the outside of your child’s cheek to minimise it.
Knocked out tooth:
This tends to be every parents worst nightmare! However, if a tooth gets knocked out, it’s important to stay calm and take prompt action. Follow these steps:
Carefully locate the tooth and handle it by the crown, which is the smooth, visible part of the tooth in the mouth, avoiding touching the root. Make sure the tooth is clean.
If the root is dirty and your child is calm and conscious, see if they can gently suck the tooth clean. Alternatively, rinse the tooth briefly in water or milk.
Immediately place the tooth back into the socket, ensuring it is facing the right direction. Time is crucial, so reinsert it as quickly as possible, ideally within 30 minutes.
Hold the tooth in place by using aluminum foil to stabilize it or having the patient bite gently on gauze or a soft cloth.
If you are unable to replant the tooth, keep it moist by placing it in a cup of milk, sealing it in plastic wrap, or positioning it in the patient’s mouth next to the cheek, if feasible.
Seek immediate dental treatment without delay. Time is of the essence.
It is important to remember:
Don’t hold the tooth by the root
You should never scrape or rub the root
Don’t let the tooth dry out
The tooth should never be put in ice
You should always avoid rinsing or storing the tooth in water for more than one or two seconds
Don’t remove any tissue or gum fragments from the tooth
The best way to avoid a knocked out tooth while playing sport is to always wear a custom fitted mouthguard.
Cut Tongue, Lip or Cheek
At some point all of our kids will sustain a cut to their lip, tongue or cheek, either in sports, riding a bike or scooter or just playing with their friends. So what do you do if this occurs?
In case of injuries to the lips, cheek or tongue that result in bleeding, apply direct pressure to the affected area using a clean cloth or gauze pack. This will aid in controlling the bleeding. However, if the bleeding persists for approximately 15 minutes without subsiding, take your child to the emergency room or your dental clinic. Severe injuries might necessitate stitches. To minimise swelling, you can apply ice or cold compresses to your child’s face at the site of the injury.
Remember, for any dental injury, it is crucial to seek professional advice from a dentist. If a dentist is not available, consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.