NOBODY ENJOYS HAVING a toothache, especially a young child who might be experiencing it for the first time. A child’s toothache can come on for a variety of reasons, and it’s a good idea to see the dentist, especially if it doesn’t go away after a couple of days. What do you do when a toothache happens over the holidays or on a weekend, and it’s not as easy to go to the dentist?
What Causes a Child’s Toothache?
Tooth decay is the most common reason a tooth might initially feel painful, but it isn’t the only cause. Tooth pain can also come from pulp inflammation, dental abscesses, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. An impacted tooth (meaning one trapped beneath the gums by bone, gum tissue, or other teeth) can be quite painful too.
Tooth sensitivity can cause discomfort, while sometimes tooth pain is the result of a sinus infection or congestion. A child’s toothache could be as simple as teething from an incoming baby tooth or adult tooth pushing that baby tooth out, in which case it’s merely a normal part of their development.
Should I call the dentist for my child’s toothache?
Managing the Toothache Before a Dental Appointment
The best thing to do for your child when they have a toothache is to come to the dentist, but if that isn’t possible at first, here are a few tips you can follow to manage their discomfort in the meantime:
- Help the child rinse and spit with warm saltwater to reduce the inflammation
- Apply a cold compress to their cheek near where it’s sore
- Give them some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory inflammation meant for children
Avoiding Future Toothaches
Any parent who has helped their young child or adolescent through one toothache wants it to be their last. Not all causes are preventable, like sinus infections, teething, a sore loose tooth, or a tooth damaged in an accident, but you can do a lot to protect their teeth from developing aches and pains due to poor dental health.
Helping your child build strong daily oral hygiene habits is the most important thing you can do to help them. Teach them to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. You should also encourage them to floss daily and schedule regular dental appointments for them. These appointments are important to build a positive relationship with the dentist so that they have a good outlook about dental care. Another great way to prevent toothaches is to cut down on sugary snacks and drinks, especially between mealtimes. When you do have those special treats, be sure to brush well afterward.
Remedies Help, But Come to the Dentist Too
Pain is our bodies’ natural alert system to tell us when something is wrong, so we shouldn’t ignore it. No matter what you think might be the cause of your child’s toothache, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with the dentist in case the underlying problem is more serious. We can take a look and provide any treatment that may be necessary to get them smiling again!
Let’s defeat your child’s toothache together!
Morristown Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the Lakeway Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in the heart of Morristown at 950 West 1st North Street. To make an appointment with one of Morristown Pediatric Dentistry’s doctors, please call: 423-581-1877.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.