Every parent aims to prevent their child from experiencing pain regardless of what the source is, and that’s true when it comes to toothaches, too. However, toothaches occasionally happen regardless. They’re just part of life, and even if your child brushes their teeth regularly, flosses, and avoids sugary foods, they will likely experience a toothache at some point.
When that happens, it’s easy to get frustrated.
Children don’t usually have an easy time communicating what’s going on, and they resort to reacting the only way they know. In short, they make it very known that they are in pain.
On top of that, most of the medications we are used to using for our own toothaches simply aren’t appropriate for children, and some can even be dangerous.
To help you get through your child’s toothache and provide them with relief, here are 5 toothache pain relievers for kids you must know about.
1: Over-the-Counter Children’s Pain Reliever
This is the most obvious solution. Just like you reach for over-the-counter medicines when you have a toothache, you can do the same for your kid.
However, many of them are dangerous for children to use.
To stay on the safe side, you mostly want to stick to acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Specifically, you want to use the versions designed for your child’s age and weight. If your child is under the age of 12, this will usually be labeled “Children’s” and be found in the children’s medication aisle separate from the normal pain relievers.
If your child is a teenager, read the instructions and determine if normal OTC pain relievers are acceptable. Some other products such as numbing agents might also be appropriate for teens.
When using children’s pain relievers, especially for those under 12 years of age, it is extremely important to read the instructions and follow them exactly. You want to help your child, but you certainly don’t want to make the situation much worse by giving them an inappropriate amount of medicine.
2: Cold Compress
A lot of toothaches are caused by swelling. Especially when there are no cavities to cause the issue. In that case, a cold compress can do wonders as a toothache pain reliever for kids.
Simply place an ice pack, sandwich bag full of ice, or even something else such as a frozen orange juice concentrate can you have sitting in your freezer, wrap it in a paper towel, and have the child hold it on the affected area externally.
The coldness of the ice pack will reduce swelling and provide relief.
However, you need to wrap the cold compress in a hand towel, paper towel, or similar material. The cold material can hurt the child’s cheek and jawline if they hold it directly on their skin for prolonged periods the same way it would hurt them if they walked in the snow barefoot.
A common option for adults is clove oil. It tastes horrible, but it does relieve the pain quickly and effectively while destroying bacteria.
Unfortunately, that can ruin the tooth pulp in younger children, and it’s not yet known if it’s safe for children to consume. That’s a problem, because not only does it naturally absorb into their bloodstream through their mouth, but it’s also likely that your child will simply swallow it.
However, you can crush a garlic clove and get a similar, yet less potent, effect that doesn’t produce those problems.
This is one solution that is going to be hit or miss. Fresh garlic is strong, kids usually don’t like putting entire cloves of it in their mouth, and it’s not enjoyable. So, it can be worth a try but don’t count on it.
4: Warm Saltwater Brine
This is an age-old remedy that does actually work. Mix a couple of tablespoons of salt into a glass of warm water, stir it until the salt dissolves, and have your child gurgle with it for 20 seconds to a full minute before spitting it out.
Again, this is kind of like crushed-up garlic. Kids usually don’t like washing their mouths with tons of salt. However, it’s not as bad, and it provides almost instant relief. If the toothache is caused by something minor, it’s actually capable of knocking it out entirely.
5: Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
This is a pain reliever that works similarly to the saltwater tip. You mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with water, and your child gurgles it. This can be extremely useful if the toothache is caused by an infection.
However, this is also one of the most dangerous options outside of the improper usage of OTC pain relievers. If your child swallows the solution, they can get extremely sick and require immediate medical help.
As such, this should never be used on younger children who are likely to swallow the solution, and a saltwater solution is preferable. At least with that method, the most damage they’re likely to cause is swallowing a bit more salt than they really should.
Typically, it’s best not to consider this method until your child is 13 or older to avoid any swallowing incidents, and it should only be used when an infection is present.
The Best Pain Reliever – Prevention
While it’s likely that your child will eventually get a toothache for one reason or another. However, the best toothache pain reliever for kids is good dental care that makes them a lot less common, and when toothaches do happen, they should be a lot less severe.
Following a standard hygiene routine daily is a great preventative method, but it’s also important not to skip regular pediatric dentist appointments.
Not only can a pediatric dentist help your child get rid of a toothache, but because they’ll provide regular cleanings and care practices for your child’s dental health, the chance of them experiencing a toothache dramatically diminishes.
At Dino Kids Dental, we offer extensive children’s dentist services. Whether your child needs serious dental work done to correct dental injuries and degradation, or your child simply needs regular appointments to maintain their oral health and avoid painful situations, Dino Kids Dental can help.
Contact us today.