From bikes to trikes to tramps to tile, there are countless ways a child can injure their teeth. And then there are those pesky cavities that can cause pain, swelling, and stress for both parents and children! Here are some examples of common dental emergencies and some tips on how to handle them if they should occur.
There are not many TRUE dental emergencies in children's dentistry—this is one of them! If your child knocks out a permanent tooth, contact Dr. Swan at Swan Smiles immediately.
In the effort to save a permanent tooth that has been knocked out, time is of the essence and is THE critical factor in its future health after the injury. Locate the tooth and gently rinse it off with room temperature water. Carefully hold the tooth by the crown, not the root. Do not scrub the tooth's root!
If you can, place the tooth back into its socket and have your child hold it in place. If you aren't able to re-insert the tooth, place it in a cup of milk and get to Swan Smiles as quickly as possible. Dr. Swan has seen nearly every potential injury to teeth over the years and is very comfortable handling any given situation. He will take the necessary steps to give the tooth its best chance of long-term survival.
Knocking out a baby tooth is not nearly as significant as doing the same to a permanent tooth. In fact, a baby tooth should not be replanted into its spot in the mouth, as doing so may damage the developing permanent tooth above it. Minimize any pain with pain killers and ice but do not worry about replacing the baby tooth itself.
If your child says they have a toothache, first check the area to make sure there is no obvious food or debris trapped inside or around it. Gently brush and floss the area thoroughly and have them rinse their mouth with warm salt water if possible. If the pain does not subside, your child can take appropriate doses of pain relief medication until you can get into the office. Give us a call at Swan Smiles anytime, day or night, and Dr. Swan will advise the next best steps.
Facial swelling due to a tooth infection is no laughing matter and should be taken very seriously. If you see this type of obvious swelling of the face and you can't get into our office immediately, take your child to a nearby emergency room where the situation can be diagnosed and triaged appropriately. If the swelling is severe enough, emergency doctors may recommend IV antibiotics to reduce the swelling and prevent further complications.
With any bleeding in or around the mouth area, consistently applying firm yet gentle pressure is the key. This should be done continuously with a clean cloth for 15–20 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding persists after this and you cannot get into Swan Smiles, take your child to a local emergency room so appropriate steps can be taken to stop the bleeding.
Apply icepacks or cold compresses to any bruised or swollen areas to further minimize both bleeding and swelling. Keep in mind, the mouth does a remarkable job of healing, including the way it stops bleeding. Bleeding in the mouth often appears to be more severe than it really is because of the blood mixing with all the saliva in the mouth.
These kinds of sores are relatively common for kids, and they happen to be very painful and discouraging. In fact, a good percentage of the children that come into the office complaining of mouth pain are experiencing some kind of soft tissue sore instead of tooth pain.
These sores can take anywhere from 10–14 days to go away completely, but their healing can be sped up by the use of laser therapy. If you or your child suffers from recurring cold sores or canker sores, give us a call at Swan Smiles and we'll use our laser to promote greater blood flow to the area and essentially promote quicker healing.