Kids are accident prone, and no matter what parents do to protect them, it’s a question of when a mishap takes place. Their teeth aren’t immune to getting hurt! Here's what to do about the most common childhood dental emergencies.
1. Knocked out tooth: First, make sure the injury isn’t more serious. If it’s a permanent “adult” tooth, put it in a container of milk or a tooth preservation product (good to buy one in advance) and get it to your dentist right away. Baby teeth will eventually be replaced by an adult tooth, but get your child to the dentist ASAP in either case.
2. Cracked tooth: If your child has a cracked tooth, rinse their mouth with warm water right away to clean the area. Use a cold compress on their face for any swelling, and get to the dentist immediately.
3. Bitten tongue/bitten gum/bitten lip: When (not if) your child bites his or her tongue or gum, clean the area gently with water. Put a cold compress on the area and see the dentist right away.
4. Toothache: Toothaches are very common in children. Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it, then gently floss to remove any food caught between teeth. Some people try to put aspirin directly on the area, but that won’t lessen the pain and may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, see your dentist.
5. Use a mouth guard: Kids are so active that mouth injuries are among their most common hazards. When they play sports, whether bicycling or football or anything in between, it’s essential to use a mouthguard to minimize the impact of mouth injuries.