When your kid is a particularly rambunctious one, you really want to make sure you’re ready for anything. Especially for dental emergencies. Whether it’s a chipped tooth from a fall or a loose one from a sports injury, you have to prepare yourself for the different types of dental emergencies. Of course, lest they wreak havoc on your child’s dental development. While it’s always a good call to take your child to the dental office when it happens, it always pays off to know how to handle a dental emergency.
As with all things, dental emergencies come in different strokes. Some of them involve your mouth tissues, like your gums and palate. Others focus more on the teeth. And just as how there are different types of dental emergencies, so are there different ways to handle them. That said, how do you handle the different dental emergencies?
For gum injuries
- Cuts on gums: The first thing you need to do is calm your kids down. Gum injuries can be somewhat traumatic for young children. It’s up to you to make the ordeal less stressful. Some kids might be frightened by the amount of blood coming from the area. You can reassure them that it’s mostly due to the saliva in the area. Have them rinse their mouth with cold water gently to clean out the area. Then, with clean hands, take a closer look at the extent of the cut if your kids allow it. Minor cuts usually go away on their own. If that’s the case, keep the area clean with saltwater or a therapeutic mouthwash.
- Deep cuts from a foreign object: If the wound is larger than you thought, take more precautionary measures. If the offending object is still stuck in the area, you can attempt to take the thing out by hand. Your child could also swish some saltwater around the mouth vigorously to try to take out the object. If all else fails, head to an emergency dentist near you to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
For tooth injuries
- If an adult tooth gets knocked off: As much as possible, you want to keep the tooth. So the first thing you need to do is look for it. Be sure you don’t hold it by the roots, as it could affect the re-attachment process. Rinse it with some milk (not water) and try to reinsert the tooth into the socket. If not possible—or if your child opposes it—keep the tooth in a milk bath and take your child to the nearest dentist or dental office as soon as possible.
- If a baby tooth gets knocked off: Unlike permanent teeth, what to do if a baby tooth gets knocked out isn’t as straightforward. Some may prefer to leave it as is, but because baby teeth serve as placeholders for your permanent teeth, doing so might cause it to crowd. When this happens, you might want to bring your kid straight to the nearest pediatric dentist to determine any damage. If there is none, your child’s dentist might suggest giving them a space maintainer to prevent any crowding problems as their teeth continue to develop.