Children get toothaches for a variety of reasons that span from mild to severe. The most important thing at the beginning is to not appear too anxious while you are trying to determine the source of the problem. Your anxiety can make your child unnecessarily anxious as well.
Instead, as calmly as possible, follow these steps when your child complains of a toothache:
Help Your Child Floss
Sometimes the source of the pain is simply a tiny piece of food stuck between your child's teeth. Flossing can help dislodge the food. Once you are done, make certain your child swishes mouthwash around in their mouth. Sharp pieces of lodged food can tear the gums and cause infections. If the problem is a piece of food, re-emphasize the importance of regular flossing with your child.
Check for Infection Symptoms
An abscess and many other types of infections can cause a toothache. With an abscess, the source of the problem is an infection within a tooth or between the tooth and gums. It can cause extreme sensitivity and gum inflammation. Another type of infection, a sinus infection, causes pain in different ways. Congestion puts pressure on the teeth and the infection can also spread. Check for fever and swelling and ask your child if they feel achy or extremely tired. If you believe your child has an abscess, schedule an emergency appointment with your family dentist. For all other infections, visit your family doctor or the emergency room.
Schedule an Dental Exam
Since emerging adult teeth, teeth misalignment, cracked teeth and cavities also cause toothaches, it is important to schedule an examination if the toothache lasts longer than 24 hours. Your dentist is equipped to provide temporary comfort and therapeutic treatment. With emerging adult teeth, your dentist might prescribe cold compresses, child-safe pain relief drugs and a follow-up appointment. With teeth misalignment, your dentist will probably refer you to an orthodontist. With cracked teeth and cavities, your dentist fixes the damage and then restores the tooth to a more functional state so that your child can smile, laugh and chew without pain.