Toothache remedies for kids

Written by amber keefer
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A child may experience a toothache for a variety of different reasons. Whether it is just a mild soreness or a sharp pain, your goal as a parent is to do something to help ease the pain. Acids resulting from the breakdown of sugar can lead to tooth decay, which in turn affects nerves in the teeth, making a tooth particularly sensitive to pain. While toothaches are a common problem among children, you do not want to ignore the cause.

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Causes

Teething causes pain for babies. Tooth decay can be another reason for a child's toothache, even a very young child. If a child loses a primary tooth before it is ready to come out, this can cause a tooth to hurt as well, particularly if the tooth is wiggled or pulled too hard. One of the most frequent causes of a child's toothache, which tends to be overlooked, is a piece of food stuck between two teeth. This kind of irritation can cause a child considerable discomfort. When your child complains of an aching tooth, the first thing you should do is to look inside her mouth and examine the area where it hurts. Use a small penlight to see if any food particles are lodged there. If so, use dental floss to remove any bits of food you see. Look for a chipped tooth or a filling that might be loose or missing, as these can be other causes of a child's toothache.

Treatment

Home remedies can help keep the pain manageable until you can schedule your child to see a dentist. Some of the more common remedies include rubbing clove oil on the tooth that hurts, placing cold slices of raw potato or cucumber inside your child's mouth to soothe the pain or applying a warm, damp cloth to the outside of your child's cheeks. Some parents place dried mint leaf on the aching tooth.

Other Natural Remedies

Distracting your child from the pain might sound too simple, but it often works. Take your child's mind off the pain by reading to him or allowing him to watch a favourite movie video. Avoid feeding your child spicy, salty or hot foods, as they can irritate an already painful tooth even more. Extremely cold foods can have the same effect. Until your child feels better, consuming only soft foods and liquids at room temperature might be best. Biting down too hard while chewing, or eating sugary snacks and drinking fruit juices can irritate the area if a cavity is the problem. You should also encourage your child to keep her jaw relaxed so that her upper and lower teeth do not touch. This prevents placing pressure on the sensitive tooth.

Water

Plain, warm water can help relieve a child's toothache, especially if tooth enamel is cracked. Give your child a glass of warm water to rinse his mouth before spitting it back out. Have him rinse again whenever the tooth begins to hurt. A teaspoon of table salt mixed in a glassful of warm water can soothe irritated and swollen gums as well. However, some toothaches actually feel better using cold water instead of warm. Applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the outside of the cheek may help, too.

Warning

If you give your child an over-the-counter drug to relieve the pain of a toothache, make sure you give the correct dosage, according to the instructions on the bottle. Medication for children should be administered according to age and weight. The use of products containing aspirin put children at risk for developing Reye's syndrome, a neurological disorder that primarily attacks the nervous system of children and teens.

Prevention/Solution

Schedule regular dental checkups for your child with a paediatric dentist. Supervise your child's tooth brushing routine. Provide fluoridated toothpaste if the drinking water supply at your home is not fluoridated. Serve your child a well-balanced diet, limiting the consumption of starchy foods and sugar in order to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Any cavities that do occur should be filled as quickly as possible to prevent infection and toothaches. The fewer the number of primary teeth affected by cavities, the healthier a child's permanent teeth will be. Prevent sports injuries to your child's teeth by insisting that your child wear a mouth guard, particularly when playing contact sports. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), only about 1/3 of the nation's young athletes are reported to wear mouth guards when playing sports. The Centers for Disease Control reports that sports-related injuries, including injuries to the teeth, mouth and jaw, are the leading cause of children's visits to hospital emergency rooms each year.

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