Emergencies are the quintessential example of unforeseen circumstances, in some cases resulting from an accident. And for those of us with children, we know accidents and kids go hand-in-hand. After all, kids are learning machines, and sometimes the most effective learning happens, as they say, the hard way. For example, children are constantly falling off of things, taking spills over the handlebars of their bikes, or in the case of siblings, hitting or throwing things at one another. With these in mind, a dental emergency is almost inevitable. So, if your child has experienced something similar, what should you do?
A Common Emergency: A Knocked-Out Tooth
One situation that almost always means urgent dental care is if your child knocks out a tooth. You should definitely consider this an emergency because prompt action may save the tooth, especially is a permanent tooth. The first thing you should do is find the tooth. Then, take these prompt steps:
- Only handle the tooth by the crown without touching the root
- Use clean water to rinse the tooth gently
- Keep the tooth moist
- Call our office right away
What About Pain with No Clear Cause?
Sometimes your child may complain of tooth pain without any clear trauma. This is a tricky situation because pain is so subjective, but you’ll need to use your best judgment, knowing your child's unique characteristics. One cause of severe tooth pain is an infection, so if your child complains of persistent pain, one measure to try is rinsing their mouth with warm water to disinfect the mouth lightly. Then, you can look in your child’s mouth for the tell-tale signs of infection, such as:
- Red or inflamed gums near the hurtful area
- A loose baby tooth that clearly is not ready to come out
- A visible hole in any tooth that could allow bacteria to enter a tooth’s interior
- Persistent bleeding of the teeth or gums
The Best Course of Action Is to Ask Dr. Annan
Regardless of the many ways a dental emergency might present itself, the most consistent recommendation is to call East Cooper Smiles. When you do, clearly describe your child’s situation in as much detail as possible. Dr. Annan and his caring staff will help determine if you are indeed in an emergency and will help address it right away.