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How To Deal With The Most Common Dental Emergencies In Children

When we refer to a “dental emergency” we refer to sudden pain or discomfort caused by trauma or by an injury to the tooth; These injuries are usually very painful most of the time, so they need almost immediate and effective care. When a child comes to the consultation with an emergency, dentists have to take into account the physical and mental differences that they have in relation to an adult patient, this implies calming the child and trying to make them understand that we are here to help them and not to make them damage.

Characteristics of possible emergencies

No one wants to see their child in pain, and it is easy to consider any oral pain a child experiences as an emergency to rectify. Experts tend to agree that the most common pediatric dental emergencies are usually divided by three key factors that need to be accessed and then worked on accordingly:

  1. Pain due to caries and all its complications
  2. Pain caused by a blow or trauma
  3. Pain due to soft tissue injuries (lips, gums, buccal mucosa)

Pain from cavities or other complications

This is usually the main reason for consultation, what has started as a small cavity that has never bothered, continues progressively, causing irreversible damage to the child. Normally, when a child goes to the emergency room it is because the caries has already penetrated the dentin of the tooth, even touching the dental pulp, thus causing an acute pain of pulpitis.

There are 2 types of pulp stages:

  1. Acute pulpitis: It is characterized by very intense and localized pain, especially when receiving a stimulus such as cold or heat, and even when eating sweet foods.
  2. Chronic pulpitis: Chronic pulpitis is characterized by the appearance of throbbing pain, which usually increases with contact with heat and calms down with cold. When bacteria spread to the tissue around the tooth, abscesses and phlegmons often appear on the gums. Characteristic for a very great pain when biting.

Pain from a blow/trauma

This is the second most frequent cause of emergencies after cavities; Especially at the ages when children begin to walk and at school. They are usually very disruptive emergencies since they are normally accompanied by bleeding and swelling of the area, which can cause large bruises. Normally, in this type of emergency, local anesthesia is usually applied to the child and the tooth is either removed if it has a very large injury, or an attempt is made to repair it with conservative treatments.

Pain due to soft tissue injuries

As a general rule, children who come to the consultation due to soft tissue injuries usually present inflammations in the mucosa or very painful canker sores, which last in the mouth for several days.

Another cause of visit is bleeding gums, as a general rule, it is usually due to a very strong or rough brushing of the teeth, thus injuring the gum. In our clinic, we know that it is very important to train and educate children from a very young age and that is why we try to ensure that all our children have good oral hygiene habits, which, with the help of parents at home, avoid emergency this type.

How is the doctor behaving?

When our doctors visit the children, their attitude will be very clear: they must know how to handle the situation showing a very safe and empathic attitude, so that they gain trust with the little one, since this is the only way in which we will be able to work Safely.

Whenever we are dealing with children in a consultation, we have to make everything a game and something very simple, show that nothing is traumatic, we will always try to maintain communication with the little ones and thus make them participate in the treatment in a relaxed way.

It is very important that our doctors have the full support of the parents, since many times when children see their parents nervous, they enter a state of distrust and nervousness that is not productive.

The parents have to understand that the dentist is the one who is going to solve the problem and that therefore within the consultation he will be the one who handles the situation. In our clinic, for the most part, we are in favor of parents often entering the consultation, as long as they act collaboratively and are constructively supportive of the child.

What can parents do to avoid a dental emergency?

Here are some tips that you can consider that will help give your child the best chances in life concerning their teeth and oral health:

  • The first thing is that you keep your visits to the dentist up to date with your children, this will make it much easier to prevent possible problems later and, in this way, you make sure you do not have surprises. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor at least once a year, if everything is perfect, it is a very quick visit that also helps to strengthen the child’s trust with the dentist.
  • Currently, extracurricular activities such as sports are something very common in children. It is recommended that whenever there is contact, as is the case with karate or basketball, the child always wears his mouth guard, it is common for emergency visits by blows in sports like these.
  • It is very important to monitor children, especially at an early age, many times they have the habit of putting things in their mouths and running around the house with them; They have to be educated in that sense, they have to know that a bad fall could injure the oral cavity, and this would be a good scare!

Another very important point to keep in mind is that many times children get used to opening bags or plastic cases with their teeth, this is usually a frequent reason for damage to soft tissues, we recommend that from a very young age we teach them that it is not It is good to do that because if they continue with this habit, when they grow up they will open all kinds of containers with their teeth and it is something that has a lot of risk.

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