Because of how active children are, they’re prone to injuries when they fall over, and mouth injuries can often be a common result of these types of trips. In order to protect your child’s teeth in these types of emergencies, it’s good to have some basic know-how about what you should do to prevent any further problems or tooth loss.
Here are some helpful tips about how you can prevent and prepare for a dental emergency:
Have a Dental First Aid Kit On Standby
Even though you don’t want to think about your child getting injured, it’s always worth preparing for a dental emergency just in case. You’ll need many of the items that you’d find in a normal first aid kit but there are some other things that will help you to deal with a dental trauma. Other parts of your first aid kit including a cold compress, mouthwash, a small cup, gauze and a container filled with fluid where you can store a tooth.
Place this somewhere that’s easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Just like with any other type of injury, there are certain ways for you to care for a dental trauma. In the event of an accident that involves the teeth or mouth, you should check to see if there is any bleeding. If there is, you should then apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Then, clean the wound and assess how severe it is before taking your child to the dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
If they’ve knocked a permanent (adult) tooth out of their mouth, pick this up without touching the root (if you can find the tooth, that is!). Gently place this tooth back into your child’s mouth because this will help to keep it moist and will increase the chances of the dentist being able to put this tooth back into place successfully.
It’s important to be careful with this, though, as you don’t want your child to swallow or choke on this loose tooth. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has suggested that to keep it in place, you should use gauze (or a wet tea bag would do) for your child to bite gently down onto. If you find that you’re unable to keep this tooth in their mouth, place it in a cup that you’ve filled with milk or salt water so the root of the tooth retains its moisture. You should do this even if the tooth looks broken or damaged so the dentist can assess whether it can be repaired or not.
When it comes to baby teeth, whether they should be replanted will again be something that the dentist decides. The U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests that the decision of whether or not to do this will depend on the age of your child, what condition the tooth is in and how developed their teeth are.
Should your child suffer a minor injury to their mouth or an irritation, using a specialist rinse for sore mouths will help to give them some relief and will keep their mouth fresh and clean. Always check that the rinse you’re using is suitable for children and check with your dentist as to when they can start using full-strength rinses.
Visiting an Emergency Dentist
When your child suffers a facial trauma it’s a good idea to get in touch with a dentist even if you can’t see any visible signs of anything wrong. They’ll help to identify whether any of their teeth have been loosened or damaged. There are plenty of services that will help you secure an emergency dental appointment near you because this could be the difference between your child keeping or losing a tooth.
Equally, if your child does knock one of their teeth out, you should seek medical advice straight away because it’s crucial that the right methods are put in place to prevent any further infections and to get their bleeding under control.
By being quick and decisive with your actions, you can help your child to overcome their dental emergency, potentially saving their teeth for the future. And even if it isn’t necessary for you to go and visit a dentist, keeping that emergency dental first aid kit on standby and knowing what to do in the event of dental trauma is just as important as if your child falls and bumps their head.
Mike Plambeck is a dental marketing professional who writes about the world of online dental marketing as well as educational dental health topics. He lives in Lincoln, NE and raises 2 kids, Noah and Dani, along with his wife Marissa.