3 Ways to Prepare for a Child’s Dental Emergency
As a loving parent, you do everything you can to keep your children safe, comfortable, and happy. You insist that your children wear mouth guards when they play sports. You teach them to how to properly brush and floss. And you find new ways to make trips to the dentist’s office fun and rewarding.
But for all your sound advice and constant care, your kids are still kids. As they play and explore, they have the slight risk of experiencing an accident and suffering an injury. They might trip on the curb, fall off the swings, or run face first into another child.
Although these accidents seem frightening at a glance, they are a part of growing up. When you learn to prepare for the worst, you can quickly take action and provide medical care for your son or daughter during an emergency.
To feel better prepared for trips, falls, and tumbles, follow the guide below.
1. Assemble an Emergency Kit
You may already have a basic first aid kit on hand, complete with adhesive bandages and anti-bacterial gel for cuts and scrapes. But does your kit include gear for dental emergencies? If not, add these items to your collection:
- Save-a-Tooth solution. Teeth need to stay in a moist environment to remain in good condition. If your child were to lose or knock out a tooth, you’ll want to place the broken pieces in a sterile solution that nourishes the tooth. You can buy Save-a-Tooth solution at many grocery stores in the pharmacy section.
- Tweezers. If your child loses a tooth, you’ll need to pick up the pieces quickly. But as a general rule, you should avoid touching the root of a tooth, lest you cause further damage. Tweezers will allow you to grab those tiny baby teeth with precision and care.
- Pain relievers. Any oral injury will result in some level of pain, and you’ll want to relieve that pain as quickly as possible to keep your child calm and relaxed. Stock up on some child-friendly pain relievers, such as Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin-based products. Aspirin acts as a blood thinner, which can inhibit clotting.
You may also want to add other emergency essentials such as gauze, cotton balls, and dental floss.
2. Learn Emergency Practices
Your emergency kit will come in handy should the worst happen to your child. However, your kit won’t do your child much good if you don’t know how to use it. Make sure you know how to respond quickly to the following dental scenarios:
- Chipped tooth. Try to find the fragment and store it in Save-a-Tooth solution (or milk). Have your child rinse his or her mouth with water. Place wet gauze on any bleeding areas and apply pressure until bleeding stops.
- Knocked-out tooth. Try to find the missing tooth, pick it up by the crown, and store it in Save-a-Tooth solution. Have your child rinse his or her mouth. Apply a cold pack to lips or cheeks near the tooth to minimize swelling.
- Embedded objects. Gently floss around the object to loosen it. Do not use sharp tools to yank out or remove the object.
Feel free to do a little extra research of your own so you can feel prepared for any situation.
3. Save Emergency Contact Numbers
Though you can provide temporary relief to your child during an emergency, your son or daughter will need immediate medical care from a professional. Depending on the severity of the problem, you’ll want to take your child to his or her dentist or to the emergency room for treatment.
If your dentist provides emergency care, save his or her number to your smart phone so you won’t have to look up the number later. Better still, add the number to your speed dial so you can set up an appointment as soon as possible.
If the trauma involves more than oral damage, don’t hesitate to call 911 or your local hospital for help.
Once you’ve fully prepared for an emergency, you can feel confident that you can help your children whenever a stumble or fall results in damaged teeth.