How to Handle a Child’s Dental Emergency During Coronavirus
by Brooke Chaplan
The coronavirus has made knowing how to handle common health issues more challenging. In the past, you might not have thought anything about rushing your child to the emergency dentist or booking a pediatric orthodontist appointment, yet you may now be unsure of what to do if they get hurt or require treatment.
The good news is that certain types of dental care are considered to be essential, and you can take these steps to handle your child’s dental emergency.
Try to Prevent Dental Injuries
Families should be as careful as possible right now to prevent common injuries. Although your kids may be bored, it is best to avoid rambunctious play that could lead to a blow to the mouth.
However, accidents do happen. Talk to your kids about how to take care of their teeth, but also let them know to tell you immediately if something goes wrong.
Apply First Aid
Dental injuries can be scary because they often involve a lot of bleeding. The blood mixed with saliva can sometimes make it hard to tell how bad the trauma is. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water to cleanse the wounded area.
You can also apply ice to the outside of their cheek to reduce swelling and over the counter painkillers to help reduce their pain. If you are unsure of what to do, your child’s emergency dentist can give you some pointers over the phone.
Reach Out for Immediate Care
Once you have the main symptoms handled, it is time to assess the situation. Check for a broken or knocked-out tooth. You may also need to look for lacerations if there is significant bleeding. In some cases, your child might not have any obvious trauma.
However, severe pain keeps them from being able to handle their normal activities, and they may even be unable to sleep. All of these are signs that your child needs to be seen by a dentist immediately.
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Remember to Practice Good Hygiene
The coronavirus may have you worried about going out in public to see your child’s dentist, but you can rest assured that safeguards are in place. Dentists are taking steps to reduce the transmission of the virus in their office.
When you schedule an emergency, you can expect to experience zero to minimal time in a public waiting area. While you are out, encourage your child to wash their hands and avoid touching their face. Their dentist will also be careful to wear a face mask and use sterilized equipment as always.
A dental emergency typically includes oral health issues that cause your child intense pain, swelling, or bleeding that does not respond to simple at-home care methods. A knocked-out tooth may not always cause severe pain, but this also falls within the category of an emergency because time is of the essence to save the tooth. Be sure to reach out to your child’s dentist as soon as possible to find out if they qualify for emergency care.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan