There are countless ways a child can injure themselves and their teeth, from bikes to trikes to tramps to tile. Then there are the 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 Nephi Smiles immediately.
In an 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.
Get to Nephi 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 as significant as a permanent tooth. In fact, a baby tooth should not be replanted into its spot, doing so may damage the developing permanent tooth above it. Minimize any pain with pain killers and ice but don't worry about replacing the baby tooth itself.
If your child has 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, you may give your child appropriate doses of pain relief medication until you can get into the office. Give us a call at Nephi Smiles anytime, day or night, and Dr. Swan will advise the next steps.
Facial swelling due to a tooth infection 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. Emergency doctors may recommend IV antibiotics if the swelling is severe enough, this helps in reducing the swelling and prevents further complications.
If there is any bleeding in or around the mouth area, consistently applying firm and 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 and you cannot get into Nephi Smiles, take your child to a local emergency room so they can take measures 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 wonderful job of healing, this includes the way it stops bleeding. Bleeding in the mouth often appears to be more severe than it really is. This is because of the blood mixing with saliva in the mouth.
These kinds of sores are relatively common for kids and can be very painful and discouraging. In fact, a large percentage of children that come into the office complaining of mouth pain are usually experiencing some kind of soft tissue sore rather than tooth pain.
Canker and cold 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 or canker sores, give us a call at Nephi Smiles. We can use our laser to help promote greater blood flow to the area and essentially promote quicker healing.