After a baby reaches a couple of months old, most parents search for their child's first tooth almost daily. These early visual checks continue as the child's teeth come in to ensure they are straight, clean, and uncompromised. This attention is one of the reasons dental emergencies are almost as traumatic for the parents as they are for the child. But what constitutes a true dental emergency, and what do you need to do? Read on for more information.
1. A knocked-out tooth
Many things can happen in childhood that result in a knocked-out tooth. While the event will be distressing, it may or may not require a practice offering emergency dental care for kids.
If the knocked-out tooth is a baby tooth, it is usually not considered an emergency. Your dental office will advise you to help your child rinse their mouth with water and ensure that any bleeding stops quickly.
If the knocked-out tooth is permanent, it is a different story and qualifies as a true dental emergency. After calming and assessing your child for injuries, try to locate the tooth and call your dental practice. If you find the knocked-out tooth, try to avoid touching the root. Handle it by the crown only. It is essential to keep the tooth moist, and best if you can reinsert the tooth back into the socket. If not, place it in a container of milk or a saltwater solution. Follow any other directions your dental office gives and get your child there as quickly as possible.
2. A broken tooth
Children play hard. Unfortunately, sometimes this play can result in a chipped or broken tooth. A broken or chipped tooth requires emergency dental care as quickly as possible. The dentist will need to assess the tooth. They will check to see if the crack or chip compromises the tooth's inner core or creates a pathway for infection.
Although a minor chip may not constitute a true emergency, it is impossible to tell using your naked eye. But even a little chip on a permanent tooth may be something you want to repair. A minor chip or crack can also create a sharp edge in your tooth's enamel, posing a danger to your child's tongue or cheek. Your dentist will be able to smooth out these jagged edges.
Bring the chipped piece or broken pieces to the appointment if you can find them. The dentist may be able to use them in the repair.
Contact a local dentist to learn more about emergency dental care for children.