As adults, we know how painful a toothache can be. Toothache pain is all-consuming, making it hard for us to focus on the day. And toothache pain for children is no better, especially when it happens during the middle of the night and you can’t contact the dentist until the morning. Thankfully, neither you nor your child needs to suffer a night of pain due to a toothache. There are plenty of things that you can do to help treat your child’s toothache at home.
What causes a toothache?
Before we get into strategies to help treat a child’s toothache at home, let’s start by ensuring that we understand what causes a toothache in the first place. In most cases, dental pain in children, and adults for that matter, come from tooth decay and gum disease. An infection inside your tooth can also cause pain, called an abscess or an infection in your gums. In other cases, tooth pain may come if your child has a broken or cracked tooth. Other common origins of tooth pain come from damage related to bruxism (tooth grinding), extreme teething where a tooth is coming in but can’t break through the skin of the gums, chipped teeth/cracked enamel, loose or missing fillings, tooth erosion, or decay, and food stuck between the teeth that are missed when your child brushes or flosses.
Signs that Your Child Has a Toothache
Older children can communicate with you and tell you when their mouth hurts. But for younger children or those with special needs, it might be more difficult to tell you that they have tooth pain.. It’s vital to know, too, that not all children will experience a toothache in the same way. And different episodes of toothaches might manifest different symptoms in the same child. In any case, here are the most common symptoms frequently associated with a toothache.
- Eating less
- Waking frequently throughout the night or during naptime
- Chewing constantly
- Showing sinus symptoms
- Rubbing their face relentlessly
Your child may also show some of these additional common symptoms, which might be harder for you to identify.
- Constant and throbbing pain in one of their teeth
- Pain in their tooth that appears to worsen when the tooth or gum area is touched
- Pain in the tooth or gums that worsens when it comes into contact with hot or cold foods or liquids
- A sore, tender jaw around the tooth
- Overall fatigue and feeling poorly
Treating Your Child’s Pain At Home
Thankfully, there are things you can do at home to help ease the pain if your child is experiencing a toothache. You will likely need to make an appointment for your child with a pediatric dentist, and if you are in our area, we hope you’ll come see Dr. Jeffrey C. Jaynes, the best pediatric dentist in Plano, Texas! But chances are you may need to help your child get through a night or two of pain relief before you can be seen by a dentist. After all, not all toothaches require a visit to an emergency dentist.
So, if your child is experiencing a toothache, be sure to request an appointment using your dentist’s online form or call the dentist and leave a message with their answering service so that their scheduler can get back to you first thing in the morning. Then, put ice or a cold pack on the outside of your child’s cheek for ten to 20 minutes. Be sure to place a thin cloth between the ice and your child’s skin so that you don’t cause unnecessary discomfort for your child. Avoid putting heat on the sore area, and also avoid giving your child very hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks as these are likely to increase pain and discomfort.
In addition to applying ice or a cold pack, try the following remedies.
- Have your child rinse with a warm saltwater mix, consisting of approximately one teaspoon of salt with a small cup of warm water. Have your child rinse for as long as possible, up to 30 seconds, before they spit out the mixture.
- Give your child an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate tooth pain. Be sure you follow the recommended dosage for children as provided by the manufacturer.
- Try a child-friendly sensitive toothpaste. Further, to reduce pain when brushing, have your child brush with a sensitive toothpaste each time they brush or rub a minimal amount of the paste on the sensitive area of your child’s with a clean finger two or three times daily. Gently floss between your child’s teeth daily, taking care to get between the back teeth too.
Let Dr. Jaynes help your child with their toothache
As parents, our goal is to help our children have healthy teeth from infancy to Kindergarten and beyond. But sometimes, despite our best intentions, things happen, and our kids experience tooth pain. So, if you are looking for the best dentist in Plano, TX for kids, then you have come to the right place. At Dr. Jaynes, we love to meet kids and help set them on the path to good oral hygiene. But if they have a toothache, our first mission will be to help that pain go away. Be sure to request an appointment for your child using our easy-to-use online form.
We look forward to seeing you and your child.