How to handle a dental emergency

You only need to be around kids for a second to realise that bumps, knocks and spills are a part of growing up.

If your child has an accident involving their teeth follow the steps below.

*Baby tooth knocked out

Step 1: Remain calm.

Step 2: If it is a baby tooth do not attempt to put it back in.

Step 3: Call for an immediate dental examination, because dentists are best qualified to assess the damage and recommend what needs to be done. Bring the tooth with you.

Step 4: Attend regular dental check-ups so your dentist can monitor how the adult teeth are developing.

*Adult tooth knocked out

Children will usually have their adult front teeth from around 7 years of age. If an adult tooth is knocked out it’s important to act quickly.

Step 1: Remain calm

Step 2: Find the tooth as quickly as possible and pick it up by the crown – avoid touching the ‘root’ of the tooth.

Step 3: Forget everything you’ve read about storing the tooth in milk or glad wrap. Just put it straight back in the socket, no matter how gruesome that seems! If it is dirty give it a rinse for a second or two first with milk or water. Do not scrub or soak the tooth. Make sure the tooth is facing the right way. Compare it to the surrounding teeth to make sure you’ve got it right. Once it’s in, gently bite down on a piece of cloth or tissue to help keep the tooth in place.

Anything longer than about seven minutes out of the mouth means the tooth has little chance of surviving long-term, so getting the tooth back in should be your top priority.

Step 4: See a dentist immediately. Use the emergency number of your dentist or Facebook Messenger if after hours.

*Adult front tooth pushed back but not knocked out

Step 1: Slowly but firmly push the tooth/teeth back (or more usually forward) into position. It is important that the front teeth are repositioned so the back teeth can touch ASAP. If you’re too squeamish, let us do it. Never push a baby tooth back without seeing a dentist as you could accidentally damage the developing adult tooth underneath.

Step 2: Come in to get things assessed.

*Cracked, chipped or broken tooth

If you or your child chips their tooth always book an appointment to see your dentist. If it is only a small piece, it is not an emergency, but you still need to have it examined. Try to collect any tooth fragments and bring them with you as it may be possible to reattach them to the tooth.

Just because you can’t see any damage doesn’t mean it’s not there. A knock to the tooth or mouth can cause cracks in the teeth or their roots that will may not be visible and will require an assessment by your dentist. Don’t leave things without getting them fixed – if left unchecked, the damage caused by an injury can lead to infection and decay requiring more complex treatment or even loss of the tooth.

Dental emergencies can be stressful for everyone involved. Try to remain calm and get the right treatment from your dentist as soon as possible.

At Kawana Dental, the entire team is totally dedicated to improving your dental health; and they would consider it a great privilege to look after you and your family.

For more information about our Kawana Dental family and lots of useful resources for dental health, head to kawanadental.com; or call 07 5444 7111.

Article source: ada.org.au.