Dental Emergencies for kids 3-10 yrs

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Dental Emergencies for kids 3-10 yrs

First Aid for children with minor mouth injuries

Minor mouth injuries in young children – such as small cuts and splits – are quite common because most kids just end up tripping over or running into something sooner or later! That’s when they’ll split their lip in a collision or accidently bite their tongue hard enough to induce significant bleeding – well enough to make you feel faint anyway!

However, parents shouldn’t be daunted or distracted by the sight of blood – kids do tend to bleed very easily from the tiniest of cuts. What’s more important is to look past the blood to work out where the bleeding is actually coming from – and then stopping it.

Most of the time, children experience only minor mouth injuries that can be easily treated with some basic First Aid steps – and a little recovery time.

Step 1 – Reduce or stop the bleeding

The first step and main priority of basic First Aid in this type of injury is to reduce or stop the bleeding. To do so, locate the source of the bleeding, such as an external cut, and apply gentle pressure on the wound with a clean cloth for at least 10 min if possible. Clean the injury site with cool water, apply an antiseptic and place a bandage over the cut.

If the cut is inside the mouth, on an inner lip for example, then apply pressure on it externally against your child’s teeth or gums. Don’t start probing the injury site with your finger because that may cause further bleeding.

Normal bleeding usually stops within 15 minutes – any longer means its heavy bleeding, so you should take your child straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.

Step 2 – Distract your child to keep them still

If your child can’t stay still while you are trying to stop the bleeding, take out their favourite toy or put on a Netflix cartoon for them to watch. It’s better if they don’t move at all while you’re applying pressure to the wound.

Step 3 – Reduce the swelling

Place an ice or cold gel pack over the injury site to numb and reduce any pain and/or swelling your child may be experiencing. Wrap an ice pack with a table cloth to prevent skin irritation. Giving your child an ice block treat to suck on is another novel option to help cool and numb the affected area.

Step 4 – Administer pain medication only if necessary

If your child experiences pain that doesn’t go away, it may be necessary to administer a dose of non-prescription pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to help relieve pain.

Step 5 – Make sure your child eats carefully

For, internal cuts to the mouth, avoid feeding your child salty and acidic foods or beverages which may cause irritation to the wound. Stick to soft, easy-to-digest plain and healthy foods to minimise discomfort while eating. After eating, make sure your child rinses with warm water to wash away food residue, and keep the mouth clean.

Step 6 – Monitor your child’s recovery

It usually takes about 3 or 4 days for a minor cut or split to heal. After that, your child should be in the all-clear. Keep a lookout for symptoms, such as persistent pain, increased redness and swelling, an abscess and/or fever – for these may indicate infection.

Don’t forget to educate your child about the reasons why the injury happened, and what safety precautions they should take to prevent or avoid a similar injury again in the future!

Go straight to the Emergency Department for major mouth injuries

Some mouth injuries need to treated as soon as possible at an Emergency Department of a hospital.

These include mouth injuries that:

  • don’t stop bleeding,
  • are very deep or punctured,
  • contain an embedded foreign object,
  • are a result of a bite or sting, or
  • involve bone injury.

Call your nearest dentist for advice if your child’s mouth injury results in a knocked out, broken or fractured tooth. Most dentists keep emergency slots open on their daily schedules to accommodate dental emergencies.

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How to help in a sports dental emergency

How to help in a sports dental emergency

Every day, across Australia, millions of kids play sports. Each one of these sports has potential risks and dangers.

For example, sports activities are played on different surfaces, and a range of surroundings and environments. Weather conditions such as extreme heat, UV, cold, wind and rain can also impact on playing conditions. The nature of the sport and the conduct of the participating players are also potential factors that can increase the risk of injury.

In Australia, contact sports are increasing in popularity. Sport is part of our cultural identity. Our children are being encouraged to become involved more and more, at younger and younger ages. As a result, dental mouthguards have emerged as the most popular and effective type of protective equipment to prevent oral injuries during play.

Children Sport Dental Emergency

But even with the right education in sports safety and accident prevention for kids, teachers and parents, and the use of protective equipment – sports injuries still occur. And oral injuries rate as the most common form of facial injury sustained by our young players in contact sports.

In the event of oral injury or trauma, you have to shift into injury management mode.

Injuries to the teeth or mouth can knock out teeth, obstruct airways or induce swelling. So always check for signs and symptoms of bleeding, pain, broken or knocked-out teeth and swelling, before administering the following basic first aid procedures.

  1. Assess the injury. Make sure the airways are clear. Place and support the patient in a recovery position to avoid further bleeding down into the throat, and obstruction of the airways.
  2. Control any heavy bleeding. Apply firm pressure to the bleeding wound, such as a tooth socket, with a clean folded tissue or sterile dressing for about ten minutes.
  3. Save knocked-out teeth or tooth fragments. Clean a knocked-out tooth with milk or the patient’s own saliva. Have the patient keep the tooth in place with a gentle bite over a folded tissue covering it, or use their finger. If the tooth is broken and cannot be reinserted, keep it in a half a cup of milk or sterile saline solution, wrapped in plastic.

Now it’s time to seek emergency dental or medical attention promptly.

See a dentist for tooth or jaw related injuries. If the patient is fully conscious, they may be transported in a private car.

See a doctor, for heavy bleeding or swelling of the mouth, face or throat.

Call an ambulance (000) immediately, if continuous bleeding or swelling, puts the airways of the patient at risk.
If you are the first aider in a dental emergency situation, it is vital that you respond, assess and take action. The correct first aid may save a child’s tooth.


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