Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

What Constitutes A Dental Emergency?

by Dr. Steven Whittemore | Published March 27, 2019

If you are a parent, you understand how much the phrase ‘accidents happen’ applies to real life. Kids are full of limitless amounts of energy and are generally not coordinated enough to know how to properly utilize all of it. So, in the event that your child has injured their mouth and needs immediate attention, it’s good to know what constitutes as a dental emergency. At Pediatric Dentistry, we are more than willing to help a child in need of emergency assistance. Due to insurance coverage and protective laws, these are what we can regard as dental emergencies.

Events That Are Considered A Dental Emergency

Fractured Tooth

Children frequently fracture their teeth while playing sports, accidentally running into things, and sometimes chewing on objects that they shouldn’t have been chewing on. If your child has cracked one or more of their teeth, wash their mouth with warm water as soon as possible to sanitize it. Then, apply an ice pack or something cold to the affected area to reduce any swelling that might occur. Your child can use Tylenol or some sort of mild painkiller to reduce the pain from the inflammation.

Knocked Out Tooth

Unfortunately, both kids and adults fall victim to teeth being knocked out. If your child loses a baby tooth due to it being knocked out, you do not need to worry about trying to place it back in their mouth. However, an adult tooth being knocked out requires immediate action. If their tooth cannot be successfully placed back into the socket for a temporary fix, place it in milk to preserve it. The ADA has created Save-A-Tooth preservatives to keep you prepared in the event that a tooth gets knocked out. These can be purchased at most grocery stores and Walgreens.

Gingival Swelling

If your child starts having swelling around their gums of the teeth that have cavities, this is a sign of an infection settling in. The longer you wait to have your pediatric dentist address this, the higher the chances are for long term complications to develop. This includes conditions such as facial cellulitis, in which bacteria can cause infections deep under the skin.

Objects Stuck in Teeth

If your child is experiencing an object that is lodged in their teeth, bring them into our offices. Not addressing it will disrupt the proper growth of teeth and can have some serious long term effects.

Prolonged Toothache

If your child has been complaining about a toothache for more than a couple of days, there is a chance that an infection or something similar could be happening within their gums. Although children can certainly exaggerate things at times, we recommend at least bringing them in if they are complaining about a prolonged toothache.

Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Dental Emergencies

Wear A Mouthguard When Playing Sports

Kids are often forgetful or resistant to the fact of how important mouthguards are for helping keep their teeth safe. Whether they play a contact sport (such as basketball, hockey, football, or hockey), they should always use a mouthguard when playing sports to reduce the risk of dental injury.

Use Scissors, Not Their Mouth

This one should be pretty self-explanatory! This point applies to both adults and children. Just because teeth are strong, it doesn’t mean they should be used to open pop cans, rips open bags, and similar tasks. If it requires a lot of effort to cut, pull, or open, don’t let them use their teeth! Be smart, get the scissors.

Inform Them About Keeping Teeth Safe

Growing children tend to chew on objects for a variety of reasons. Some have oral fixations, some do it to impress their peers, and some simply don’t know better at the time. As a parent, anything you can do to help them understand the importance of proper dental care can and will minimize dental emergencies. If they are chewing on objects like legos, pencils, bottles, etc. it’s on you to help them break those habits.

Contact The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa

If your child needs emergency dental work, do not hesitate to give us a call! We have offices win Ankeny and Des Moines with well-trained staff and knowledgeable, caring dentists ready to help at a moment’s notice. If your child doesn’t need emergency dental work, don’t forget to get their dental appointments scheduled. We look forward to seeing you!

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