6 tips to relieve toothache in your child

toothache remedy for kids
Here are 6 tips to relieve toothache in your child, which include saltwater rinse, over-the-counter medication, and changing their diet.

Toothache can cause your child intense pain. Here are a few tips that can help.

  1. Keep the area clean:
    • Have your child point out where they are feeling the pain since it may be that your child is having an accidental tongue bite.
    • Trapped food particles can aggravate your child’s toothache.
    • Even if your child has learned to brush their teeth, you should brush their teeth if they have a toothache because they may accidentally hurt themselves by brushing over the painful tooth or gum area.
  2. Saltwater rinse: Rinse your child’s mouth with a cup of saltwater for pain relief.
  3. Clove oil: Apply some clove oil on a piece of cotton and place it near the aching tooth.
  4. Fomentation: Applying ice to the affected area will reduce toothache.
  5. Do not panic:
    • Do not let expressions of worry or panic appear on your face. Your child may feel scared if they see you this way.
    • Instead, hug them, cuddle them, and reassure them. You can play with them to distract them from their pain.
  6. Over-the-counter pain medications:
    • If these pain relief measures do not relieve your child’s toothache, you can offer them over-the-counter pain relief medications, such as acetaminophen, after checking the dosage on the labels.
    • If you are still concerned about the safe dosage or which medications to give, ask your child’s doctor.
  7. Make changes in the type of foods:
    • Avoid giving them hard or crispy foods, such as popcorn or nuts. Instead feed them soft foods, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, rice, bananas, and soups, which can soothe the toothache.
    • Even hot and cold foods can trigger your child’s toothache. So, instead of hot soups, offer them warm versions.
    • Sweet stuff, such as candies, can comfort them but increase their tooth decay if that is the cause of their toothache.
  8. Make a trip to your dentist:
    • If your child is suffering from toothaches repeatedly, take them to the dentist for a proper diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment.
    • If your baby or toddler has a fever of 100.4°F or higher in addition to the above symptoms, a trip to the dentist becomes even more crucial.
    • Delay in the treatment of an infected tooth can cause serious complications, such as the spread of the infection in other parts of your child’s body.

How to know if your child has a toothache

If your child is a toddler, it may be difficult for them to communicate verbally when they have a toothache.

Here are a few signs that you can watch out for to know if your child has a toothache:

  • Irritability
  • Refusal to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Constant touching or rubbing the cheek or teeth area

What causes toothaches in a child?

Toothaches in children usually occur when either the dental pulp or the dentin gets damaged. 

  • Dentin is the hard or porous surface that lies below the enamel, which is the outermost, hard, and protective layer of the teeth crown.
  • The dental pulp is the innermost part of the dental crown that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

Causes of toothaches in a child can include:

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Medically Reviewed on 1/12/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Toothache (Pulpitis) in Children. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/health-library/toothache-pulpitis-in-children

Cleveland Clinic. Toothache. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache