Tooth pain in children can be as distressing for the parent as it is for the child. A persistent toothache in a child usually indicates a problem that requires professional care. The most common causes are cavities and gum disease. Short-term tooth pain can also occur with a bump to the teeth, a small scrape in the mouth or food caught between the teeth. Sinuses, ear and jaw problems can also cause pain that feels like a toothache. Home remedies can help alleviate toothache pain in children, but see your dentist for any toothache lasting more than 24 hours.
Assess the Situation
Try to get as much information as you can about your child’s symptoms. Does the tooth hurt all the time, or only when he is chewing with it? Is it sensitive to hot and cold? Does it hurt when you touch it? Is the tooth loose or obviously damaged in any way (chipped or broken)? Does your child have any other symptoms, such as a fever, swelling, or tiredness? All of this information is helpful when you take your child to the dentist or the pediatrician to have the toothache evaluated.
Make an Appointment
How soon you need an appointment with your child’s doctor or dentist depends on the situation. If there is obvious damage to the tooth, it is best to try to get him in right away. If the pain is not from damage or injury to the tooth and seems to come and go, then you should get him in at your provider’s earliest convenience. Of course, if your child is in a lot of pain, get him in right away.
The type of treatment required will depend on the diagnosis by your doctor or dentist. The most common treatments include oral antibiotics to get rid of any infection, pain relievers (over-the-counter, or prescription, depending on the level of pain), repair of the damaged tooth, or fillings for cavities. In some cases, it is necessary to remove the tooth altogether. Your doctor or dentist will be able to determine what the best course of treatment is for your child with a toothache
If you notice that your child is being stubborn or uncooperative when it comes to brushing their teeth, this may indicate that they are experiencing toothache. If this is the case, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a pediatric dental office such as Kids Care Dental, who will be more than happy to assist you and your child. Typically, the earlier you address these dental-based problems, the easier it will be to eliminate them.
When your child is suffering from a toothache, it is essential that you are as gentle and nurturing as possible. When your child’s toothache becomes more serious, perhaps due to a cavity or a broken tooth, it is vital that you visit a pediatric dentist without delay. If your child has never visited a dentist before and seems apprehensive about dental care in general, demonstrate to them how a trained professional can help treat the pain. Describing the procedure to them will help to calm their nerves and create a more laid-back, relaxed and comfortable patient.
Natural Toothache Pain Relief for Your Child
For children, on the other hand, a toothache is simply an incessant pain that throbs with no relief in sight. Toothaches occur when erosion or decay penetrates the tooth’s pulp chamber, which contains nerves and minuscule blood vessels that are extremely sensitive. One of the most common reasons for toothache is diet-related, such as drinking too much soda, or eating foods that possess high sugar content, such as candy.
If your child is suffering from a toothache, plain warm water (never hot or cold) with a teaspoon of table salt can help relieve the tenderness. They should rinse their mouth out with the salty water whenever they feel pain. A cold pack against the cheek may also reduce painful twinges. However, if over-the-counter pain relievers are ineffective and the ache fails to subside within 24-36 hours, get your child booked into a trusted pediatric dentistry office.
Unfortunately, temporary remedies will only provide a stop-gap solution for the pain, and a trip to the dentist will be necessary. If your child has a cracked or chipped tooth, a cap or filling may be necessary, especially if it’s a permanent tooth. A children’s dentistry specialist will be able to do this for you. If an emerging tooth is found to be pushing against an existing tooth, some may have to be removed. In other situations, braces may need to be discussed.
Brush and Floss
Gently brush the teeth and floss on either side of the sore tooth to remove any food that may be wedged between teeth. If your child is old enough to brush and floss on her own, allow her to do so while you supervise to be sure it is done correctly.
If your child is old enough to “swish and spit” a saltwater rinse, it may help relieve toothache pain and reduce swelling around the sore tooth. Make the rinse by adding roughly a half teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water. Stir to dissolve the salt. Be sure the rinse is not too hot.
Give your child a sip of the rinse, instruction her to swish it around in her mouth, especially near the sore tooth. Have her swish for about 30 second and then spit the rinse into the sink. You can use the saltwater rinse every few hours if the pain continues. Just make sure your child spits out the mixture instead of swallowing it.
Wrap an ice pack or a small bag of frozen vegetables in a towel. Hold the ice pack to the area of soreness for about 15 or 20 minutes. Depending on the problem, an ice pack may augment rather than relieve your child’s pain. If he complains, take the ice pack off. If ice provides relief, you can use it every few hours. Just be sure that the skin completely rewarms between applications. Do not put ice directly on the skin or the painful tooth.
Medication may temporarily relieve your child’s toothache pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) can be administered, under the guidance of your child’s doctor. Do not give your child aspirin unless specifically instructed to do so by your child’s doctor. Benzocaine (a local anesthetic) can be applied directly to the affected tooth, following the directions on the package.
Seek medical attention right away if your child has a fever with a toothache, you notice a lump near the sore tooth, his pain is severe or he has sustained a forceful blow to the mouth. Follow up with your child’s dentist for any toothache that does not go away with 24 hours or recurs.