Dental Emergencies

Toothache:

Clean the area thoroughly; many times food can be lodged in a cavity, creating pressure. Do NOT place aspirin over the tooth or on the gum, it will cause a burn. Contact the Pediatric Dentist to evaluate the problem.


Cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek:

Apply pressure to the bleeding area with gauze. Remember, bleeding looks worse in the mouth because blood mixes with the saliva. If bleeding is not controlled in 15 minutes, go to the hospital emergency room.


Knocked out primary tooth (baby tooth):

We do not replant knocked out baby teeth, the success rate of replanting a baby tooth is not sufficient to warrant treatment.


Knocked out permanent tooth:

Find the tooth, do not handle it by the root. If the tooth is sound, try to replace it into the socket. Hold in place with gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth into the socket, place the tooth in a cup of milk or in the child’s mouth and see the Pediatric dentist immediately. Time is the critical factor when dealing with a “knocked out” tooth.


Fluoride

Fluoride is an element that has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, (mild- white spots or speckles, severe-brown discoloration). Many children get more fluoride than the parents realize. Some sources of excess fluoride are:

  1. Too much fluoride toothpaste at an early age
  2. Inappropriate use of fluoride supplements
  3. Hidden sources of fluoride in the child’s diet

Young children may swallow too much fluoride toothpaste because of an inability to spit out. This can lead to excessive fluoride ingestion. Use only a pea size amount or toothpaste to help eliminate this problem.

Excessive systemic fluoride ingestion can lead to fluorosis. Fluoride tablets, drops or fluoride vitamins should not be given to children younger than 2 years old. After that, these products should only be given by prescription, by the Pediatrician or Pediatric Dentist, and only after your water has been tested for natural fluoride content.

All processed foods can have fluoride if they were processed in a location with fluoridated water. Because of this, fluoride supplementation levels have been reduced for children.

We always use a topical fluoride after cleaning your child’s teeth. The benefits of this treatment have been shown in hundreds of studies. When your child’s teeth are polished (cleaned), a very small amount of enamel is polished away, the outer layers are the most fluoride rich so the topical treatment replaces this lost fluoride and strengthens the enamel.

When children can rinse and spit out, we recommend the use of an over the counter fluoride rinse to maintain the outer zone of enamel in a high level of fluoride content. Most children can swish and spit out by 5-7 years of age.


Tooth Grinding

About 1 in 3 children grind their teeth. A certain amount of wear is normal in the primary dentition. Most children begin to stop grinding when the 6 year molars erupt. Occasionally, we will recommend a mouth guard to help lessen the impact of grinding or wear on the teeth.

Thumb Sucking & Pacifer Use
Sucking is a natural reflex in young children and infants. Sucking habits can provide security, happiness and comfort. Problems only arise if the habit is persistent.

Most children will stop sucking habits on their own between ages 4 and 6. We do not become overly concerned about habits until after that time period. Persistent sucking after age 6 can cause problems with eruption, bite and facial growth.

It is impossible to force a child to stop a sucking habit. We (the Pediatric Dentist) and the parent can help a child that wants to stop. Feel free to discuss this with the doctor at your child’s visit.


Crossbites

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Orthodontics recommend correction of crossbites as early as possible. Failure to correct a crossbite in a timely fashion can lead to traumatic bites, excessive dental wear, gum problems, trauma to the developing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and most severely, altered facial growth that could require facial surgery to correct. If your child has a crossbite, we will recommend correction as early as possible to help your child develop properly.


Tobacco

Tobacco in any form can jeopardize your child’s health and cause incurable damage. Teach your child about the dangers of all tobacco products.


Mouth Guards

We recommend mouth guards for all children who participate in organized and recreational sports. A proper fitting mouth guard will help prevent broken teeth, knocked out teeth, and injuries to the lip, tongue, face and jaw. A properly fitting mouth guard will stay in place when your child wears it making it easy to talk and breathe while wearing the mouth protector. Ask about custom mouth guards as well as store bought mouth protectors.