Whether it happens when your child is eating, flossing or brushing their teeth, suddenly losing a filling can be somewhat traumatic, to say the least. Not only is it a strange feeling to be missing part of your tooth, but you can also experience tooth sensitivity and/or a good deal of pain after the tooth is exposed.
As a future note, regular dental visits every six months allows your dentist to keep an eye on your child’s fillings and make sure they are in good condition. However, if a filling does come out between dental visits, you need to know the steps to protect your child’s teeth and alleviate the pain.
Here are some important steps you can follow until your child gets in to see their dentist:
Manage the Pain
After taking a few deep breaths and making sure you and your child are calm, your next priority is to handle any pain they may be experiencing. Your child may feel a sharp pain on the affected tooth from inhaling cool air, as well as from sipping hot or cold beverages. After all, the tooth tissue is now exposed and is very sensitive.
Depending on your child’s age, various over-the-counter treatments are available and should suffice until you can get in to see your dentist.
- Ibuprofen and aspirin (or children’s aspirin depending on your child’s age).
- Over-the-counter topical analgesics, such as Orajel, that can provide temporary numbness around the tooth.
- Applying clove oil to the affected tooth is a natural remedy to consider. This is done by simply dampening the end of a cotton swab in the oil and applying it gently to your child’s tooth.
- Fill the hole temporarily with dental cement. This can prevent the tooth from becoming further damaged while covering up the exposed nerves to ease the pain. However, it is important to understand that this is NOT a long-term solution; the dental cement is not a substitute for a proper filling.
Note: Unlike a lost crown that may be kept and reapplied by your dentist, you will have NO such luck with a lost filling. Once the composite filling escapes from the tooth, there’s no way to save that particular filling. So, you can dispose of it.
Call your Child’s Dentist
The loss of a filling isn’t an emergency, but your dentist should take it seriously. Dental providers know that losing a filling can be scary and is often painful. This is why it’s a priority to contact your child’s dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
In the interim, it is essential for your child to keep the affected tooth and the surrounding area clean. It is important to advise your child to brush as gently as possible and skip the mouthwash, which can burn and irritate the affected area.
Avoid Certain Foods
Until your child’s dentist appointment, there are certain foods you should try to avoid. You should tell your child to avoid foods with small seeds or kernels, such as strawberries and popcorn, which have a tendency to get lodged in the exposed area. It is also important to stick to drinking just water.
If your child loses a filling, it certainly can be stressful. You should do what you can to remain calm and reassure your child that this is a very common situation. It is important to soothe any pain and make sure to give your dentist a call as soon as possible. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our office. We’d be happy to help!