Pediatric Dental Emergencies
If your child has a tooth ache, do not immediately resort to using painkillers because they may not be suitable for his/her age and self medication may be harmful to the health of the child. The key is to help the child calm down, use a tooth brush to clean the tooth and floss it to remove any food debris that may have lodged in the inter-dental spaces. Add a pinch of salt to warm water and make your child rinse his/her mouth with it; this simple home remedy effectively acts against swelling and irritation. If the pain does not subside, take the child to a dental clinic. Dr Sheppard also offers professional assistance over the phone for emergencies if the clinic is closed.
It is important to note that applying pressure can effectively control bleeding. If your child’s tongue, lip or cheek is bleeding, the first step is to help him/her rinse it and then apply an ice pack with moderate pressure to control or reduce the bleeding. If the cut is small, the bleeding will stop with the help of the pressure and ice; however if it is a larger cut and continues to bleed uncontrollably, the child must be taken to the clinic immediately.
The first step is to locate the tooth; once found, it must be cleaned and reinserted into the socket without any unnecessary delay. If this is done immediately, there are high chances that the tooth will stabilize once again in its socket re-acquiring vitality. If you are hesitant in putting the tooth back into the socket yourself and need professional help, take the child to the dental clinic immediately carrying the tooth in a container immersed in milk or the child’s saliva. Remember, the sooner the tooth is placed back into its socket, the more chances of its survival. If the process is delayed, the tooth may never gain vitality in its socket again and may need to be replaced with an artificial tooth.
The human teeth are very hard, mineralized structures that cannot be fractured easily. However if subjected to a significant amount of force, such as in case of a direct trauma or fall, they can fracture or chip. If your child chips his/her tooth, the first thing to do is to clean the area or have the child rinse his/her mouth. Apply pressure with the help of a cold pack to prevent swelling and immediately rush the child to the dental clinic. If it is possible, locate the chipped fragment of the tooth and take it along. Effects of the trauma on the pulp and surrounding tissues can become permanent if immediate action is not taken.
They key in this case is to hold the jaw firmly in its place preventing any movement and rushing the child to the clinic. Dr Sheppard is available in North Phoenix even after clinic hours via pager and phone calls for professional assistance.