From participating in sports and physical activities to eating hard foods like candy that can damage their teeth, children are especially vulnerable to accidents and dental emergencies. There are a number of situations that qualify as a dental emergency, ranging from a broken or knocked-out tooth to severe tooth decay. If the situation requires immediate attention to protect your child’s teeth and general oral health, it qualifies as a dental emergency.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentist, Dr. Nathalie Phaeton, our orthodontist, Dr. Ki Youn Kil, and our pediatric dentistry team offer emergency dental treatment at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
How do I know if it’s a dental emergency?
Some emergencies are easier to spot than others. If your child’s tooth is knocked out or broken during a softball game or from a fall on the playground, most parents know that getting them to the dentist right away is necessary to save the tooth. Cuts and lacerations to the gums, cheeks, or tongue also require an immediate trip to the dentist’s office for treatment.
In other cases, the symptoms might be more subtle but still require timely treatment. Deep cavities and infections may not be visible or cause obvious symptoms like bleeding, but they’re serious enough to be an emergency. Even a toothache can be considered a dental emergency, depending on the underlying cause.
Stained and discolored teeth
Children’s teeth can develop stains and discolorations for a number of reasons, from too much fluoride to taking certain medications. However a tooth can also change color due to blood vessel damage in the interior pulp resulting from trauma. If you notice that one or more of your child’s teeth have changed color, especially after a fall or sports injury, contact us to determine whether you should bring them in for an examination.
Do baby teeth need the same treatment as permanent teeth?
What if your child has an accident and a baby tooth is damaged or knocked out prematurely? Or what if a baby tooth develops a cavity? Does it still count as a dental emergency, since the tooth will eventually fall out on its own anyway?
Despite the fact that baby teeth are temporary, they serve as placeholders for your child’s adult teeth and should be cared for in the same way. From brushing and flossing to going to the dentist for checkups and for dental emergencies, caring for your children’s baby teeth is important to ensure the health of the permanent teeth that will follow.
If you’re not sure whether your child is having a dental emergency, the best thing to do is to give us a call! Our team will help you determine if you need an emergency appointment and get you in to see the dentist as soon as possible. In cases of serious trauma and potentially life-threatening injuries, take your child to the emergency room right away.
For more information about dental emergencies and the pediatric dentistry services we offer at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, contact us today to schedule an appointment.