Your Local Emergency Pediatric Dentist in Tacoma: We're Prepared To Help Right Away!
It is very important to be prepared in case your child has an emergency. Even though we wish that they wouldn’t, emergencies do occur. Being educated and knowing what to do can be the difference between losing and saving a tooth. You also need to know your dentist’s phone number. Contact us right away if you are having an emergency! Our kids emergency dentist Tacoma WA team is are always available to accommodate an urgent visit.
Understanding Dental Emergencies
A dental emergency is a situation involving your child's oral health that requires immediate attention and care to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and ensure the overall well-being of their teeth and gums. Dental emergencies can include issues such as knocked-out or chipped teeth, severe toothaches, bleeding from the mouth, and injuries to the lips, cheeks, or tongue.
Types of Dental Emergency in Children
Recognizing and responding promptly to dental emergencies is crucial to preserving your child's dental health and preventing long-term complications. Here are some of the most common types of dental emergencies that occur in kids and how to manage them:
Knocked-Out Baby Tooth
Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Cheek, or Lip
Toothache and Facial Swelling
If a baby tooth is knocked out due to an injury, it's important to follow these steps:
- Comfort your child, and apply gentle pressure with a sterile gauze pad to stop any bleeding.
- Attempt to locate the knocked-out tooth. It may have been pushed into the gums or partially remained in the bone.
- Do not try to reinsert the baby tooth into the socket, as it could potentially harm the permanent tooth underneath.
- Schedule an appointment with our pediatric dental office for a thorough examination.
- Depending on the situation, our dentist may recommend treatments, including space maintainers, to ensure the proper alignment of surrounding teeth.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. Here's what to do:
- Contact our emergency hotline immediately for guidance and to schedule an urgent appointment.
- If possible, gently pick up the tooth by the crown (the top part) and avoid touching the root.
- Attempt to reinsert the tooth into the socket carefully. Have your child bite down on a piece of gauze or cloth to stabilize it during transportation to our office.
- If reinsertion isn't possible, keep the tooth moist. Place it in a plastic bag with milk or a Save-a-Tooth solution if available. This helps preserve the tooth until professional care can be provided.
If your child chips or breaks a tooth, take these steps:
- Rinse your child's mouth with warm water to clean the affected area.
- If there's bleeding, you can use sterile gauze to stop it.
- Seek a dental exam and x-rays as soon as possible to assess the extent of the damage and potential treatments.
- In cases involving loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, or if the incident is unwitnessed, consider going directly to a local hospital for evaluation before contacting our dental office.
Treatment options will depend on the class of the fracture and whether it's a permanent or primary tooth.
In the event of a cut or bitten tongue, cheek, or lip:
- Gently clean the affected area with warm water.
- Apply a cold compress if needed.
- If bleeding is severe and uncontrolled, consider calling 911 for immediate medical attention.
- Contact our office or visit an emergency room to assess the need for sutures and evaluate any potential dental involvement.
Toothaches in children can result from various causes, including deep cavities, oral ulcers, dental trauma, abscesses, gum problems, loose baby teeth, or objects stuck between the teeth. Seek immediate attention if your child experiences:
- Severe pain and/or facial swelling, as these may be symptoms of an abscess.
- Without treatment, an infection from an abscess can spread to other areas of the body and become life-threatening.
Recognizing Symptoms of an Abscess: An abscess is a localized pocket of pus in the tooth or gums. Symptoms may include severe pain, swelling, redness, and sometimes fever.
Preventing Pediatric Dental Emergencies
While it’s essential to know what to do in case an emergency occurs, it’s discovering how to prevent them that eliminates the struggle altogether. At Kids’s Choice Dental, our pediatric dentists recommend the following precautions to minimize the risk:
Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are essential for preventing dental emergencies. Schedule appointments with your pediatric dentist every six months. These check-ups allow dentists to detect and address any potential issues before they become emergencies. Early intervention can help prevent tooth decay, gum problems, and other oral health issues.
Establishing Oral Care Routines from Infancy
Oral care should begin in infancy. Clean your baby's gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. As your child's teeth emerge, start brushing them with an age-appropriate toothbrush and a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste. Teach your child the importance of proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, as they grow.
Safety Measures for Sports and Daily Life
Protecting your child's teeth during sports and daily activities is crucial. Consider the following safety measures:
- For sports, provide your child with a custom-fitted mouthguard made by a dentist. Mouthguards help prevent tooth injuries and concussions during athletic activities.
- Encourage your child to use protective gear when skateboarding, biking, or engaging in activities with a risk of falls or collisions.
- Avoid using teeth as tools to open bottles or packages. Discourage habits like nail biting and chewing on hard objects, which can lead to dental injuries.
Supervision of Young Children
Supervising young children is vital for preventing accidents that can cause dental emergencies. Watch over your child during playtime to ensure they don't engage in activities that could harm their teeth. Keep small objects and toys that pose choking hazards away from infants and toddlers.
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