A dental emergency can happen to adults and children alike, but the latter is more prone to one considering their activities and the enthusiasm they typically put into them.
Having a very physically active child bodes well for his or her health and well-being, but all that running and jumping and horsing around could very well lead to dental injuries.
As much as possible, we wouldn’t want to find our children in any dental emergency, but accidents do happen, and when they do strike, you need to be ready to deal with it.
It’s but natural to be worried, even anguished, by the sight of our loved one suffering a dental injury. However, you won’t be doing your child any favors if you panic and become hysterical at the sight of your child bleeding from the mouth, or at the sound of your child crying out in pain.
Whether it’s a dental injury or a full-blown medical emergency, always remember to keep your head and do whatever needs to be done to deal with the problem at hand.
Dealing with a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
If your child fell on his or her face and chipped or broke a tooth, then you need to find that broken-off piece for reattachment at the dentist’s office. When you do find it, rinse it off to remove any dirt that may have stuck to it. You should also have your child rinse his or her mouth off to remove any tiny tooth fragment left inside.
If the impact of the fall has caused your child’s face to swell up, then apply a cold compress to the affected spot. You might also want to remind your child to be mindful of the broken tooth inside the mouth as it could cut the tongue or the lips.
When a permanent tooth gets knocked-out
When a playground accident is severe enough to knock out a permanent tooth, find the tooth, pick it up by the crown and not the root, rinse off any dirt, and put it in a cup of cold milk or water to keep it moist
However, you and your child need to be at the dentist’s office within 30 minutes for the tooth to stand a better chance of getting re-implanted successfully.
A broken jaw
If your child suffers a broken jaw, then you have a full-scale medical emergency on your hands. Calling 911 right away can get your child the immediate medical attention he or she needs. If your child is conscious, keep him or her seated in a reclining position and do everything you can to comfort your child while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. If there’s any swelling, you can give your child some relief by applying a cold compress to the affected area.
Preventing dental emergencies
Dental emergencies happen all the time, and there’s no predicting when or where they take place. You can, however, take steps that may reduce their chances of happening to your child. Making your child wear a mouthguard is always a smart thing to do, especially he or she is into sports. The play could get intense and even rough, but a mouthguard can protect your child’s teeth, lips, gums, and cheeks.
Teach your child to wear a seatbelt at all times. Hopefully, it will become an indispensable habit as he or she grows older. Most accidents also happen at home, so you need to make sure that your floors aren’t slippery, your stairs have skid-resistant carpet treads, and the whole house free of clutter that your child could trip on while running around.
Dental emergencies are typically painful, but with your reassuring demeanor and presence, your child should get enough comfort as you both make your way to the dentist’s office.