What is a Pediatric Dental Emergency?

What constitutes a dental emergency? Dental problems that require professional, emergency care are often sudden or severe and need immediate care. We offer emergency dentistry services in Mt. Airy, MD, for children. Here, parents can learn about common dental emergencies and how they can help prevent emergencies with proactive care.

What is a Pediatric Dental Emergency?

Common Dental Emergencies 

Knowing what is and isn’t an emergency can help you prepare if an emergency occurs. There are multiple common dental emergencies to be aware of that you can address at home before you get to our office:

  • Tooth Infection: If your child is experiencing severe dental pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the face.
  • Injured Tooth: Rinse the mouth with water and bring any broken pieces of the tooth to our office. 
  • Lost Permanent Tooth: Locate the tooth and gently rinse it in water. Make sure the tooth is intact before trying to reinsert the tooth in the socket. Bring the tooth in a cup of saliva if you cannot replace the tooth and apply clean gauze or a clean cloth at the socket.

Problems like a knocked-out baby tooth are not a dental emergency. You can contact our office for care if there is a non-emergency, and we will help you schedule an appointment for care. 

How to Prevent Pediatric Dental Emergencies

While most emergencies are sudden and often not preventable, especially if a child breaks or injuries a tooth, there are some steps you can take to lessen the chance of dental injuries, toothaches, and other common pediatric emergencies:

  • Make Sure Your Child Wears a Mouthguard: Wearing a mouthguard during contact sports can protect natural teeth from dental injuries or loss. If your child wears braces, wearing a mouthguard can prevent broken appliances. 
  • Help Them Manage Stress: Sometimes, patients with stress can begin to clench or grind their teeth. Also known as bruxism, teeth clenching and grinding can wear down teeth and create tooth damage. Even biting on objects like pens or pencils can negatively affect their oral health. Teaching your child how to counteract that stress can impact their mental and oral health.
  • Reinforce Good Oral Hygiene: Ensuring your child has a good oral hygiene routine can prevent problems like toothaches and tooth pain caused by tooth decay. 
  • Visit the Dentist: We recommend that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts. Early dental visits are important because they allow our team to thoroughly examine the smile and keep track of your child’s oral development.  

If your child has a dental emergency, call (301) 781-5337. Are you unsure if you need to call a dentist? If your child is physically injured, take them to the nearest hospital. Contact our office if they have just sustained a dental injury and do not have any medical needs.