My Child Has a Toothache. What Should I Do?

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Toothaches have a variety of causes. Often, they’re the result of a cavity. In other cases, a tooth may be broken. And sometimes, in still other cases, the cause is nothing more than a piece of food that’s become wedged between teeth.

That’s why, if your child is complaining of a toothache, we recommend flossing as a first step before anything else. Following that, try rinsing the area with warm water or a salt water combination. A cold compress or cold pack can alleviate swelling, if there is any. If the toothache persists, administer Tylenol, Advil, or apply a small amount of an over-the-counter anesthetic containing benzocaine. Be careful how much you administer, though, and avoid giving any to a child under two years old. You should never, under any circumstances, put aspirin directly on the tooth or the gums. This can cause soft tissue damage and even lead to a fatal disease known as Reye’s syndrome.

These are, of course, only temporary solutions. If your child’s toothache persist, contacting one of our pediatric dentists within 24 hours is important. If your child’s symptoms include throbbing pain, fever, fatigue, or malaise, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is very important. If your child is having trouble swallowing or breathing, visit your local emergency room immediately.

If your child’s toothache is caused by a cavity, treatment will involve removing the decay and filling the tooth. But depending on how much decay is there, a different procedure—like a root canal or a tooth extraction—may be necessary. Sometimes an antibiotic must be taken before treatment for the toothache can begin.

Because going to the dentist will still be a new experience for your child, helping him understand how dental care can help him treat and resolve pain will go a long way towards defeating anxiety. Talk to your little one about the tools that will be used and what the procedure will be like. We’ll do the same as he sits in our dental chair. Helping your child smile and laugh before his appointment can also diffuse tension and anxiety to create a calmer, more relaxed young patient.

Has your child come to you complaining of a toothache? Follow the steps we’ve outlined above to see if the issue is resolved. If it’s not, contact one of our Kidtastic offices as soon as possible. With our offices in MesaGilbert and Queen Creek, we have a location that is convenient for you and can help you.

Pediatric dental care is an essential service. You want to know that your child’s smile is developing as it should. Our doctors have years of experience and training that can help them monitor the development of your little one’s teeth. If we see anything that raises a red flag, we can put together a treatment plan that will help you meet your child’s personal needs.

Your child’s first visit should come around the age of one year old, or whenever he gets his first tooth. Don’t delay your child’s essential care. We’re ready to help you and your family.