First Aid 101: How To Care For Hurt Teeth
Any parent will quickly discover the need for basic first aid skills, to care for a range of injuries and ailments. So what should you do if your little one bumps their mouth? Niamh O'Reilly of thenursery.ie gives some handy tips for what to do.
Teeth are often the bane of a parents’ life. And teething itself can start as young as three months so by the time a full set of teeth appear, little ones could be teething for two and a half years.
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Once the troublesome teeth are through and all that drama has passed, what if there is the almost inevitable face plant and your little one bumps her mouth and you are worried about the impact on those pearly whites?
Most children, at some point will scare the life out of you with an almighty bump to the face! In many cases there is no real cause for concern and baby teeth survive the impact. A fat lip can be dealt with by using plenty of ice wrapped in a clean cloth, and allowing them to suck on an ice pop will bring the swelling down, and distract them too! To stop bleeding in the mouth, get your child to bite down on a sterile gauze.
If you have any concerns about nerve damage or loose teeth, bring them to the dentist to have them checked over. If the tooth starts to change colour at all, it could be a sign of nerve damage. Whilst not the end of the world for baby teeth, it’s worth getting checked out so that their adult teeth won’t also be affected when it’s time for them to come through.
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Losing a tooth
Unfortunately, we are not talking about the Tooth Fairy in this instance! Many older children (yes, even the non-sporty types) may run the risk of having a tooth knocked out. You definitely should get to the dentist if this happens.
If your child has lost an adult tooth, it may be possible for the dentist to reattach it: If you have the tooth, the best way to transport it, is to place it in a container of milk, ask them to keep it in a pocket of their own saliva in their cheek or along the gums. Do not put in tap water. When handling the tooth, hold by the crown (the biting end) and avoid touching the root.
Sometimes, the dentist will be able to save the tooth and other times they won’t, but it is worth trying! Baby teeth cannot be reattached, but it may still be worth attending the dentist to check the damage.
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At one of our recent first aid courses a mum shared the story of her little guy who had really struggled when teething. When he was around two years old, he fell onto the wooden floor with a bang. When she looked at him, his front teeth were missing. Panic ensued and she was cleaning his mouth up when she realised that no, they weren’t gone, but he had managed to fall so hard that the impact shot the teeth back up into his gums! OUCH! This little guy was lucky as over time, once the swelling went down his two teeth came back down and he avoided any serious damage.
Niamh hosts Paediatric First Aid courses in Monkstown, Co Dublin; with Noeleen Boyle of www.nbts.ie. Noeleen is a highly qualified first aid coach (and Nurse/Midwife) with years of experience under her belt. For more details email email@example.com or click here