Taking your child to the dentist every six months is a great way to prevent common dental issues from occurring. The regularly scheduled check up lets your dentist identify and treat cavities, perform a deep cleaning of plaque and tartar buildup, and provides you with a road map to better oral care for your child. But, when should you bring your child in for a special visit? Below are a few oral emergencies that require the attention of your dentist as soon as possible.
Baby teeth are temporary, however, if a baby tooth is knocked out too soon, it can lead to other teeth crowding the vacant spot. This can cause alignment issues when the permanent tooth begins to emerge, and could cause crooked teeth and biting problems. Visit your dentist within 24 hours if your child loses a baby tooth prematurely. Your dentist will be able to assess the state of the incoming adult tooth, and provide your child with a spacer to prevent crowding that may occur.
Permanent teeth are supposed to be just that: permanent. If your child loses a permanent tooth, then it is imperative that you visit your dentist immediately. Store the tooth in a clean container of cool water, milk, or, use a tooth preservation system like the ADA Approved Save-A-Tooth. If the dislodged tooth is stored properly, then your dentist will be able to reinstall it.
Children play rough, and that can lead to bumps, bruises, and even fractured teeth. If your child fractures a tooth, then gather what fragments you can find and store them in a clean container of cool water, saliva, or milk. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water if they are experiencing any pain. It is important that you visit the dentist immediately to prevent infection and other complications that are brought on by chipped teeth. Your dentist will be able to repair your child’s tooth with their original fragment (if it’s stored properly) or with a filling.
Biting the tongue or inside of the cheek is a bad habit that is common in children and teens. Usually, bleeding can be stopped by applying clean gauze to the affected area. You should visit your dentist if your child experiences bleeding on their tongue or inner-cheek that lasts longer than 48 hours to prevent infection and stop the bleeding.
Tooth aches happen, whether it’s from chewing ice (a definite no-no!) or sensitive teeth. If your child has a tooth ache, then have them rinse their mouth with warm water to ease the pain. If the pain persists for more than 48 hours, then see your dentist as soon as you can. Persistent tooth aches can be indicative of more serious problems like cavities, or tooth infections.
If your child has lost their teeth from serious accidents like a head injury or broken jaw, then visit the hospital before you see the dentist. It’s absolutely imperative that you care for the larger, more serious injury before fixing their teeth.