Young children often have toothaches. But as parents, whenever our child is in pain, we worry. Tooth decay, plaque buildup, new teeth coming in, cavities, broken teeth, or food stuck between teeth can all cause a child’s toothache. But sometimes, what feels like a toothache might be pain from something else. So, what do you do when your kid is in pain? Follow our simple steps to figure out what’s wrong, help your child feel better, and get them the care they need.
First, you should figure out why your child has a toothache. If they are old enough, ask them to show you where it hurts or tell you about it. If they are younger, look for swelling, red gums and cheeks, discolored or broken teeth, and any signs of infection. You probably find the problem if you find a loose, discolored, or broken tooth.
Next, you should help your child get any bits of food out from between their teeth. Your child’s gums might be sensitive, so be gentle and careful when flossing.
Add a teaspoon of table salt to a small cup of warm water. Tell your child to rinse for about 30 seconds and then spit. This will kill bacteria in or near the wound and speed up the healing process.
Put a cold compress on the outside of your child’s cheek near where it hurts or is swollen. If you don’t have a compress from the store, you can make one by putting ice in a small towel or piece of cloth. Try icing for 15 minutes and then take a 15-minute break.
Your child can take pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen if the pain doesn’t disappear. Make sure that any medicine you give your children is safe: Always look at the Drug Facts label to find the active ingredient and the right amount to give.
Aspirin or any other painkiller should never be rubbed on your child’s gums. It is very acidic and can burn the gums. Clove oil is an essential oil used to treat skin problems since Ancient Greece. It kills bacteria and fungi and can be applied directly to the skin. Use a cotton swab to gently dab clove oil on the painful area around the tooth. This will help with the pain for a while.
Flossing, rinsing, icing, and taking medicine won’t solve the problem for good. Suppose a cavity causes your child’s toothache. In that case, they’ll need to see a dentist for a filling, root canal, or maybe even an extraction. If your child is in a lot of pain, tired, or has a fever, you should call your pediatrician immediately.
Children are more likely to get infections in their teeth than adults. If your child’s toothache doesn’t go away, especially if it lasts more than 24 hours, you should call our pediatric dentist in Fitchburg, WI as soon as possible to make an appointment. Even if your child’s pain goes away, they may still have a cavity that can turn into a painful abscess. If you’re not sure, give us a call or book an appointment online.