When you have little children, it can be difficult to determine when they are having a medical emergency and when the problem can wait. When your child suffers an injury to a tooth, or they are complaining of a toothache, contacting your child's dentist right away is usually the answer. While some dental issues can wait, there is no need for your child to be in pain if there is a cavity that can be repaired. If you notice swelling, or your child loses a tooth in an accident, it's time to call for an emergency appointment.
If Your Child Complains of Pain
If your child complains of tooth pain, there is likely a problem. Children rarely complain of pain in their mouth when there isn't a problem causing it. Your child may have food stuck in their mouth, decay that you can't see, or an abscess that needs to be taken care of. An abscess is an infection in their mouth which will need to be addressed by the dentist. If your child is suddenly screaming in pain and complaining that it's coming from their mouth, you may need to seek emergency room care to deal with the problem.
When a Tooth is Lost Prematurely
While children will lose their baby teeth over time, losing a baby tooth is not as important as losing an adult tooth when your child is growing up. If your child loses a permanent tooth, the dentist may try to implant the tooth. When an adult tooth is knocked out, try to find the tooth and bring it with you to the dentist. Don't scrub the tooth, and try to touch the crown only. Rinse the tooth gently with water. Put the tooth in a glass of milk to keep it safe on the way to the dentist. If your child is older, you can try putting the tooth back into the socket on the way. Make sure the tooth stays wet on the way to the dentist.
If your child fractures a tooth, or hits a tooth that begins to change color, the tooth can be repaired. Your dentist may recommend that you give your child a pain reliever to keep them comfortable. Depending on whether the fractured tooth is an adult one or a baby one will determine if the tooth gets repaired. When your child cries out in pain, it's time to see an emergency dentist.