If your child winces in pain, parental instincts take over. But do you know the best way to handle a toothache? When your child complains about tooth pain and you can't get into the dentist immediately, there are still ways where you can help ease their toothache at home.
Toothache Home Remedies
At the first sign of a toothache, check for obvious problems. Floss to remove stuck food pieces, check for a loose tooth, and inspect for any mouth injuries. Next, you can work to reduce symptoms until getting in to see the dentist.
- Warm Saltwater Rinse
An important step in relieving tooth pain is reducing oral swelling. If your child is old enough to swish and spit, they can use a warm saltwater solution to reduce inflammation, advises the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Mix a teaspoon of regular table salt into a small cup of warm water and have them swish it around every part of their mouth.
- Cold Compress
Next, you can apply a cold compress to the outside of your child's cheek, close to the sore area. A cold compress will cause the blood vessels in the area to constrict, making the pain less severe. Wrap a gel-style frozen compress or a bag of ice in a soft towel and help your child hold it in place to reduce pressure and swelling inside the mouth.
- Clove Oil
Clove oil can also work as a pain reliever and antibacterial for toothaches. Make sure to dilute the clove oil with something food-safe like almond oil. Use a cotton swab to gently dab it on the affected area around the tooth. Keep in mind that clove oil can have an unpleasant taste and side effects if eaten, so it should only be used for older children who won't swallow any. If you don't have any clove oil, check your pharmacy for a child-safe over-the-counter oral medication containing clove oil as an active ingredient.
Visit the Dentist
These solutions should help ease your child's toothache until you can schedule a dental appointment. Toothache pain can be caused by a variety of issues, including infections, an injury, a loose tooth, tooth decay or impacted food particles. A dentist will be able to identify the cause of the pain and recommend a solution.
It's important not to ignore tooth pain, even though your child might appear momentarily at ease. Get into the dentist as soon as possible since a dental procedure or prescription medication might be needed to treat the symptoms adequately.
Most importantly, don't worry. You're equipped with home remedies to comfort your child's toothache and see them smile again in no time!