If your child is complaining of a toothache, it isn’t a matter that should be put to the side or dealt with at a later time. While the pain he or she is experiencing could be something simple, like last night’s broccoli casserole trapped between his or her teeth, it could also be something much more serious, like a cavity or broken tooth. Before jumping to any conclusions, our team at Dr. Gabhart’s office recommends following this protocol:
- Clean your child’s teeth. Before becoming too alarmed at the pain, we recommend simply brushing and flossing the area. Often times, food gets lodged between teeth that can cause the discomfort
- Try rinsing with warm water or a salt-water combination. This kills bacteria in the mouth and may alleviate some of the pain.
- Apply a cold pack if any swelling is present. Doing so will ease your child’s pain as well as give you a better look at the inflamed area.
- If the toothache persists, give your child a pain reliever. Tylenol, Advil, or small amounts of over-the-counter anesthetic (containing benzocaine) are the best choices.
These are, of course, only temporary solutions. If your child continues to complain of a toothache, it is important to contact your dentist within 24 hours. If your child has a fever, throbbing pain, or fatigue contact a doctor as soon as possible.
In the case that your child’s pain does warrant a trip to the dentist, we recommend helping him or her understand why dental care is important and what to expect before entering the office. Children are often very anxious about their first trips to the dentist. Let them know there is nothing to be afraid of, and we will be sure to do the same once you arrive!
Your child’s smile is precious, and we want to do our part in keeping it safe! Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have a question about your child’s dental condition.