When your child winces in pain, parenting instincts take over. But do you know the best way to tackle a toothache? Whether your little one complains of a loose tooth after playing in the yard or your older child has unexpected tooth pain in the night, you can naturally and effectively administer toothache pain relief until you can visit with a dentist.
Initial Steps for Toothache Relief
If tooth pain rears its head at 6 a.m. on a school day or late on a Friday evening and a trip to the dentist must wait, start by reducing oral swelling. If the child is old enough to swish and spit, have him rinse with a warm saltwater solution to reduce oral inflammation, advises the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Mix a teaspoon of table salt into a small plastic cup of warm water.
Then apply a cold compress to the outside of the child's cheek close to the sore area. Wrap a malleable gel-style compress in a soft towel, and help the child hold it in place to reduce pressure and swelling inside the mouth.
Using Pain Medications at Home
Next, give the child an oral anti-inflammatory medication appropriate for his age. Try administering a liquid version of the medication; a chewable pill may be difficult for the child to take.
Clove oil also works as a topical analgesic and antibacterial to provide toothache pain relief. Apply the oil using a cotton swab. Gently dab it on the affected area around the tooth. Alternatively, visit a 24-hour pharmacy and choose a child-safe over-the-counter oral medication containing clove oil as an active ingredient.
See a Dentist Soon
Once the child grows more comfortable and calmed, schedule a dental appointment for the next available slot. Toothache pain can be caused by a variety of issues, including infections, an injury, a loose tooth, decay in the tooth or impacted food particles, according to The Children's Hospital of South Carolina at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Do not ignore oral pain, even though your child might appear momentarily at ease. Seek professional attention as soon as possible since an oral procedure or prescription-level medication may be required to treat the symptoms adequately.
Learn more about oral care for children in the Colgate Oral Care resources.