Dos and Don'ts When Your Child Has a Toothache

You do your best to keep your child’s mouth and teeth healthy, but now your child is complaining of a toothache. Toothaches in children can cause incessant, throbbing oral pain. Your child’s toothache may be because of erosion or tooth decay.

At Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill, Nupur Gupta, DDS and her care team are pleased to provide a full range of children’s dentistry services. We can help your child restore oral health and resolve toothache symptoms. Here’s what Dr. Gupta tells her patients to do — and not do — when faced with a child’s toothache.

Home remedies to soothe a child’s toothache

You can use at-home techniques, including medication with over-the-counter pain relievers, to temporarily tame your child’s toothache pain.

It’s a good idea to start by checking to make sure that obstructions, like pieces of food stuck between the teeth, aren’t the source of the problem. You may be able to resolve your child’s toothache by flossing to remove obstructions. If you see an oral injury, that could also be the source of your child’s pain symptoms.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends rinses with plain warm water, not too hot or cold, with a teaspoon of added salt, to relieve tenderness and sensitivity in your child’s mouth. You can use saltwater rinses as needed for toothache-related twinges.

Ice packs placed against your child’s cheek can also help with pain and may reduce swelling, and treatment with clove oil is also an option for older children. Clove oil isn’t a great idea for younger children, as it can be toxic if swallowed.

What to avoid with a toothache

Extreme temperatures can worsen oral pain, so skip very hot and very cold foods and beverages while toothache symptoms last. Sugar causes tooth decay, and a decaying tooth can be sensitive to sugar, as well. Highly acidic foods, like orange juice and tomato sauce, can also be an oral irritant, so skip these if your child is currently dealing with oral discomfort.

Don’t delay making a dentist appointment to get the problem checked out, especially if your child’s toothache symptoms last for 24-36 hours without improvement. And, even if the situation appears to be improving, it’s still a good idea to schedule a session with Dr. Gupta.

Take care not to stress your child too much, if they’re complaining of a toothache. A warm, comforting demeanor is the best way to help children through dental troubles without undue anxiety. With Dr. Gupta’s support, you don’t need to worry about your child’s oral health. Help is available!

Get prompt pediatric dental care

No matter the cause of your child’s toothache, a visit to Dr. Gupta at Perfect Smiles Dental can take care of the problem. Your child might need a filling to repair a tooth damaged by decay, or a cap or crown to fix a chipped or cracked tooth. And, if the problem has to do with your child’s emerging adult teeth, Dr. Gupta can recommend the best treatment option to help maintain correct dental alignment.

You can schedule a checkup appointment for your child at Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill by calling our Pleasant Hill, California office over the phone, or request your appointment online now.

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