Coping with a toddler is challenging enough for most parents. When the toddler doesn’t feel well, things become even more difficult. Tooth pain is a common occurrence among young children who may be teething or experiencing tooth decay or gum swelling. Toothaches can interfere with sleep in young children and cause significant distress. Parents often feel helpless and uncertain how to ease the child’s pain.

CRYING TODDLER

Make Sure It IS Tooth Pain

Toddlers can’t always communicate adequately, so an indication that a child’s mouth hurts could be about something else: a canker sore, a cut or a bitten tongue. Examine the child’s  mouth to be sure that there’s no other culprit causing pain in the mouth.

Common Causes of a Toothache in Toddlers

The pain may be a result of teeth coming in. If there are no teeth breaking through, it could be due to tooth decay or food trapped in the child’s gums, which have become inflamed. If the pain is due to the latter, or you cannot identify the source of the pain, it’s time to seek treatment.

Make an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists are accustomed to treating young patients who may not be able to fully articulate their discomfort. CT Pediatric Dentistry, which has offices in West Hartford, North Windham, and Unionville, uses kid-friendly methods to evaluate and treat children, as well as for routine dental care.

How to Treat Tooth Pain

Until your child’s dentist appointment, there are some things you can do to sooth tooth pain. Plain warm water or warm salt water can temporarily relieve pain. Provide your child with a glass of warm water so he or she can rinse and spit the water back out, repeating the process when the tooth starts to hurt again. Alternately, some toothaches respond better to cold water or a towel-wrapped ice pack applied to the outside of the cheek. If the child is experiencing fever, swelling of the face, or severe pain – all signs of infection – then seek medical care immediately.

Until your child’s tooth pain is resolved, stick to liquids and soft foods at room temperature. Salty or very hot or cold foods can exacerbate pain. Biting down while chewing, drinking sugary drinks, and pressing the top and bottom teeth together may all contribute to discomfort.

To contact CT Pediatric Dentistry, call 860-523-4213 in West Hartford; 860-456-0506 in North Windham; or 860-673-3900 in Unionville, or visit our website.