It goes without saying that when your child is in pain, the first thing you do is try to find out what’s causing it. But what if they’re complaining of a toothache, and there’s no apparent cause that stands out? In this blog, you’ll find out what to do in these situations and when you should call an emergency dentist in Indianapolis. With this information, you’ll quickly relieve your child’s pain and also make sure their smile stays healthy. Learn more below!
What Causes Toothaches In Kids?
Here are some of the most common reasons for children’s toothaches:
- Cavities (which can lead to a serious infection or abscess that needs immediate care to prevent it from spreading)
- Teeth that are coming in
- Plaque buildup (this can inflame the gum tissue and lead to tenderness or sensitivity)
- Food trapped between the teeth
- Broken teeth
- Temporary pain that comes from eating something cold or hot
What Should You Do When Your Child Has a Toothache?
Many parents know basic first-aid for a stomachache or scraped knee, but you may not know how to handle a toothache. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think! Whether the pain is in a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, use the following tips:
- A toothache can mean different things, so begin by asking your child to describe the pain and where it is. Try to look at the area (using a flashlight if necessary) to see if there’s a tooth coming in or something stuck in between two teeth. If you see food debris or plaque, try to gently floss the area (taking care not to “snap” the floss in between the teeth, as that can cause further pain).
- If nothing is stuck, look for swollen gums, a broken tooth, discoloration, or bleeding (keeping in mind that you may or may not see anything). Call an emergency dentist to schedule the first available appointment.
- While you’re waiting on treatment, have your child swish and spit with salt water every few hours (mix by adding ¼ teaspoon of salt to a cup of lukewarm water and stirring to dissolve). This not only soothes irritated tissues but also provides antibacterial protection.
- Gently apply a cold compress to the outside of their face for 15 minutes at a time. Give them over-the-counter pain medication designed for kids (such as acetaminophen) as directed.
It’s also important to remember that if your child has a fever and/or swelling, they may have an infection. If you can’t make it to a dentist within a few hours, take them to an urgent care center or hospital. That way, they can take antibiotics right away if necessary and get dental treatment later on.
As a parent, there’s nothing worse than seeing your child in pain. But with these tips, you’ll be able to keep them comfortable and help them maintain a healthy, happy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Armin Tepner is a general and emergency dentist in Indianapolis with more than 35 years of experience. Having raised three daughters, he knows how alarming it is to have a child in pain. To be there when your family needs care the most, he and his team make emergency care a priority and also offer same-day appointments. If your child has a toothache or you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (317) 898-3384.