It happens in a split second. Don’t blame yourselves parents. Been there myself. If a baby, toddler or young child injures their gums or baby teeth here’s a check list of things you can do to help.
- Apply mild pressure to the area if it is bleeding with a cold wet gauze. If he or she is old enough ask them to bite down gently on the gauze. Replace it with cold gauze as it gets warm or saturated with saliva or blood.
- Offer a popsicle to suck on to reduce swelling or use one of those handy cute ice packs for kids wrapped in a washcloth to the area of injury. My kids ice pack was a cute duckie head. Awwh…
- Give children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil) for pain as needed. Follow instructions on the medications for appropriate dosage and use.
- Call me and come in as soon as possible. My patients can contact me through Messenger on Facebook if it’s the weekend, but otherwise just call the office. We do everything we can to tend to your Emergency needs. That’s our job and pleasure to give you that comfort when you need it.
- Take a photo with your cell phone of the injury to record and mark as a baseline. We will be comparing this photo as time goes by to see if tooth is darkening. Darkening of tooth is a sign of infection and indicates the need for removal of that tooth. Otherwise the incoming permanent tooth may be affected in some way. Send me updated photos once you have come in for the emergency visit, so I can confirm that things are still ok.
Children rarely complain about tooth pain. Ask , observe, monitor and inform me what is going on so we can proceed together with the appropriate treatment.
NOW the bigger problem. What if it’s a permanent tooth. YIKES!!!
Ok Here is the next checklist:
- Collect all pieces of the tooth
- Rinse the mouth gently with warm water
- Call me right away and come in immediately with tooth preserved in a cup of saline or milk to keep it hydrated. I have repaired teeth with the actual tooth fragments and come up with seamless beautiful results. This is of course if pieces are not missing!
If the whole tooth is knocked out…. Find the tooth. Call me as soon as possible, or go to the emergency room. Hold the tooth by the crown only, ie the end you bite with, not the root. and place the tooth back in the socket that it got knocked out of. Do not , I repeat Do not scrub the root. only gently rinse with saline if it has dirt on it and place it back. If you can’t place the tooth back yourself, put the tooth in a saline solution or container of milk or the person’s saliva and come in. You can also place the tooth between your lower lip and gum. DO NOT STORE IT IN TAP WATER!!!!
And Finally: Think how you can prevent this next time. I make wonderful sports mouthguards and they are of the highest grade laminate material reserved for my Boxing friends. Get a sports guard for your child. Also take a good look around your house and childproof areas that can cause injury to little teeth and faces. Table edges, drawers that need to be locked down , prevent falls that can cause serious injury.
I hope you found my pearls of wisdom helpful, and I sincerly hope you never have to use any of it. 🙂
Your Dentist and friend,
Dr. Karen Kassabian.