When kids have a toothache, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong. It can indicate they have an infection, like adults. But not necessarily. It could just be a natural part of growing up.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for parents to figure out the problem. Unless you’re a dentist, you don’t always know what’s behind the pain.
General Toothache Remedies
If your child complains of toothache specifically, there are several treatments you can try.
The first is simply to get them to swish some warm saltwater in their mouths for a few seconds. To make the solution, grab 250 ml of water and then add a teaspoon of salt. Usually, it helps to soothe the affected area, reducing pain, and helping them to feel more comfortable. If your child has an infection, it will also help kill any bacteria around the gum line.
You need to be careful, though, to ensure that your child doesn’t swallow the mouthwash. Health professionals advise against consuming a large amount of salt all in one go.
Another strategy you can try is giving your child an ice pack that he or she can hold against their face. Cooling the area down provides pain relief because it reduces the severity of the inflammatory response. When a child has a tooth infection or emerging tooth, the temperature around the affected site heats up to help the body fight off any bacteria. Ice reduces the heat and also provides a degree of temporary numbing.
When Home Remedies Don’t Work
The body is usually quite good at correcting toothache. Either it will fight off the infection. Or the tooth will eventually push through and stop causing problems.
In some cases, though, toothaches don’t go away, and that’s when you need to act according to Bright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.
Sometimes your child will have a chipped or missing tooth. If that happens, you should visit the dental clinic as early as you can. If it is an adult tooth, they may be able to repair or replace it.
If you notice the tooth looks decayed (there’s a large hole in it surrounded by black), then no amount of dental hygiene is going to correct the problem. The only option is to have the tooth filled or removed.
You may also notice that your child has food stuck in the gaps between their teeth. If that happens, try to use dental floss to remove it gently. Once you do, it can cause the pain to go away.
Unfortunately, toothaches are on the rise among kids. Diet and lifestyle factors mean that more young kids are suffering from dental problems.
As a parent, the best thing you can do is limit access to sugary snacks and brush regularly. If you notice a problem with the way your child brushes, then try to correct it. They need to brush all the surfaces of the teeth in their mouth – something hard to learn unless taught. Don’t assume they’re doing it right when they close the bathroom door.