What You Need to Know About Kids' Dental Emergencies

What You Need to Know About Kids' Dental Emergencies
Posted on 06/16/2017

Childhood dental emergencies are no fun, but they're inevitable for most kids at some point. Life happens, and even kids with the best dental hygiene can suffer dental emergencies. If your children encounter one of the following dental emergencies, stay calm to help them through it and seek care from a pediatric dentist.

Teeth and Gum Abscesses

If the inside of your child's mouth is irritated or wounded, bacteria can enter that area of the body and cause an infection. Once swelling begins, a swollen, painful abscess that's filled with pus may form. It's the body's attempt to protect the body from the further spread of the bacterial infection, and it can happen within a day or two of the onset of the infection.

Abscesses can cause pain, and your little one may get scared to find a bump in their mouth. Assure your child that everything is okay and give your little one a child-safe painkiller with your dentist's approval. Abscesses are always dangerous because the infection could spread to other parts of your kid's body, so seek dental treatment right away.

Knocked-Out, Fractured, or Broken Teeth

This dilemma commonly occurs in sports when proper gear isn't worn and accidents occur. It can also happen from a slip, fall, or other mishap. Calmly reassure the child if this occurs and call your dentist immediately. Do not rinse the tooth but preserve it in a small cup with a bit of milk or the child's spit until you can get to the dentist's office.

If the tooth is broken or fractured instead, try to gather as many pieces of tooth as possible. Like with the whole knocked-out tooth, preserve the pieces and bring them to the dentist's office with your child. If there are sharp parts of the tooth left in the mouth, try to wrap the broken tooth with dental wax to help protect other areas of the mouth from being cut or otherwise wounded.

Foreign Object Lodged in Teeth or Gums

Getting pieces of food or other objects trapped in between teeth can be very upsetting for children. Not only can it be very painful, but they may panic. With toddlers exploring the world by tasting and putting things in their mouth, it can be easy for very young kids to find themselves in this dilemma.

If the food or other foreign object cannot be dislodged with a toothpick or by brushing the teeth, take your child to the dentist to have it removed. It's important to not delay treatment even if the child is not in immediate pain. Since the areas of the mouth like the gums and tongue are sensitive and easily hurt, foreign objects can cause damage if not removed in a timely manner.

Loose or Missing Fillings

Kids who have had fillings may have one come out in food that they're eating or may otherwise notice that a filling has gone missing. A child who never experienced this before may panic, but like with many other dental emergencies, the key is to stay calm and seek professional treatment. Don't try to use temporary fillings from the drug store unless instructed to do so by your dentist.

In many cases, the dentist can replace the filling in a quick, simple procedure, but sometimes a root canal that's followed by the placement of a crown or other dental treatment will be required to restore the tooth. An x-ray is typically taken at the dentist's office beforehand so that the dentist can best determine which treatment the child needs.

Finally, the best way to handle potential dental emergencies is to avoid them whenever possible. Empower your children to have healthy teeth and gums by teaching them to take excellent care of their oral health and take them for regular dental check-ups and cleanings. At Dentistry for Children & Adolescents, we provide preventative dental care and a vast variety of treatments.


Dentistry for Children & Adolescents

  • Edina Office - 7373 France Ave. S., Suite 402, Edina, MN 55435 Phone: 952-831-4400
  • Burnsville Office - 14050 Nicollet Ave., Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: 952-435-4102
  • Eden Prairie Office - 6385 Old Shady Oak Road, Suite 150, Eden Prairie , MN 55344 Phone: 952-932-0920

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