Childhood is about fun and games, smiles and laughter – at least, it should be. Unfortunately, even young teeth aren't immune to toothaches, and they can wipe the smiles off of those little faces in a heartbeat. Dental pain can take a toll on your child's mood, behavior, and even learning ability. According to a study conducted by the Ostrow School of Dentistry, children with tooth pain are four times more likely to have below average grades. How can you help your little one?
Firsts things first
Call us right away. If it is an emergency, we will strive to see your child the same day. Until you can make it to our office, here are some tips for relieving your little one's pain.
- Use pain relievers carefully. Be sure to follow the dosage recommendations for your child's age. If the product does not say it's safe for children, choose something else. If your child is bleeding, avoid products that contain aspirin.
- Orajel or clove oil are safe topical pain relievers. Never hold a pill against the gums. It won't help; instead, it can burn the gum tissue.
- Lukewarm saltwater is a great mouth rinse. It can be soothing, and it promotes healing. Just mix about a teaspoon of salt with a cup of comfortably warm (not hot) water.
- Offer your child soft foods, which are neither hot nor cold. Pressure and extreme temperatures can aggravate a toothache. Sugary snacks and beverages should be avoided if the tooth is cracked or has cavities, which can expose sensitive tissues.
Prevention is the best medicine
Once the toothache is gone, you don't want it to return. Toothaches begin with inflammation of soft tissues inside of the tooth. In children, it is usually caused by oral injury or deep cavities, which can often be avoided.
- Is your little one a star quarterback in the making? Athletes of all sizes and ages should wear mouth guards.
- Monitor your child's oral hygiene, to make sure he or she is brushing and flossing properly.
- Limit the consumption of sugary or acidic substances. Sweets should be consumed with meals rather than as snacks.
- Make sure you and the little one see us at least every six months.
If your child is in pain, let us help. Call Big Smile Dental at 773-772-8400.