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My Child Is Complaining About a Toothache—What Should I Do?

Common causes of toothaches in children include cavities, infections, breakage, migration, and painful debris. No matter the cause, kids require prompt care from a skilled dentist in Little Rock.

Children suffering from a toothache will instantly let the world know about their discomfort. As a parent, you may find yourself scrambling to identify the cause as your child cries in pain. Often your initial attempts to reduce their tooth pain only serve to soothe their discomfort for a few hours at most. Thankfully, you can work with your child’s dentist to solve the underlying problem and stop tooth pain for good. Before you arrive at your Little Rock dentist’s office, learn what you can do once your child complains of a toothache.

Look for the Source of Their Toothache

Upon hearing the first complaints of oral pain, have your child open wide so you can inspect their teeth, gums, and tongue. Look for signs of redness, swelling, abrasions, and abnormalities. Encourage your child to point out the painful area, if possible, to pinpoint the problem tooth.

When looking for the source of your child’s discomfort, consider these common causes:

  • Cavity: Look for tiny brown dots or pits of decay on the surface of the tooth. As acids from bacteria eat away at the teeth, nerve pain quickly follows.
  • Infection: Infection in the tooth and gums will cause serious pain throughout the mouth. Look for redness or inflammation to confirm your suspicions.
  • Breakage: Kids often chip or break teeth while using them as tools or chewing on toys. Even the tiniest crack can cause a serious toothache.
  • Movement: Your child’s teeth can start to hurt while on the way in or out. Sometimes, teeth migrating within their gums can cause problems, so note any open gaps that look narrower than before.
  • Debris: Search for small pieces of food stuck between the teeth or just below the gum line. Items like popcorn hulls, meat fibers, and apple skins often cause tooth pain.

The information you glean from this initial examination can help the dentist determine if your child needs an emergency dental appointment.

Provide Initial Care to Relieve Tooth Pain

If applicable, your dentist might provide initial care instructions over the phone after making the appointment. These instructions may include attempting to remove debris, creating homemade mouth rinses, applying numbing ointments, or giving your child an over-the-counter pain medicine.

If your child has a broken tooth or shows signs of infection, their dentist may instruct you to create a salt water rinse to help wash away bacteria and decrease pain. You may also need to provide your child with an ice pack or warm compress to decrease discomfort. Up until your child’s dentist appointment, try to distract them from their toothache using their favorite toys, games, and books.

Make an Appointment with a Little Rock Dentist

Your child’s first complaint of a toothache may leave alarm bells ringing in your head. Relentless pain from toothaches often leaves kids and adults alike completely miserable. Thankfully, your Little Rock dentist can help eliminate the cause of their toothache and restore their happy smile. To obtain prompt dental treatment for your child’s toothache, contact Arkansas Family Dental at 501.683.8886 to schedule an appointment.
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Tina Nichols

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