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What to Do for a Child With a Toothache

Tina Callison

No parent ever wants to see their child in pain, and a child with a toothache can experience a lot of discomfort. Most of the time, a toothache is caused by injury to the tooth or a cavity. Here are some things that you can do to help your child when he has a toothache.

Assess the Situation

Try to get as much information as you can about your child's symptoms. Does the tooth hurt all the time, or only when he is chewing with it? Is it sensitive to hot and cold? Does it hurt when you touch it? Is the tooth loose or obviously damaged in any way (chipped or broken)? Does your child have any other symptoms, such as a fever, swelling, or tiredness? All of this information is helpful when you take your child to the dentist or the pediatrician to have the toothache evaluated.

Make an Appointment

How soon you need an appointment with your child's doctor or dentist depends on the situation. If there is obvious damage to the tooth, it is best to try to get him in right away. If the pain is not from damage or injury to the tooth and seems to come and go, then you should get him in at your provider's earliest convenience. Of course, if your child is in a lot of pain, get him in right away.


The type of treatment required will depend on the diagnosis by your doctor or dentist. The most common treatments include oral antibiotics to get rid of any infection, pain relievers (over-the-counter, or prescription, depending on the level of pain), repair of the damaged tooth, or fillings for cavities. In some cases, it is necessary to remove the tooth altogether. Your doctor or dentist will be able to determine what the best course of treatment is for your child with a toothache.

To prevent future toothaches, help your child develop good oral hygiene habits and take safety precautions when playing sports or other activities that could result in injury to the teeth and mouth. You can learn more about caring for your child's teeth in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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