There's no doubt that a dental emergency with your child can be positively panic inducing -- for the both of you! While it's completely understandable that you'll feel stressed and even overwhelmed during this time, it's likely even worse for your child. Fortunately, you can both keep your cool if you follow the 4 C's below.
1. Calm Yourself First
Because you're the adult (although you might wish someone else was in charge right about now!) it's important for you to get into the right frame of mind yourself. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to help your child effectively. This means that if you're feeling scared, worried, or even panicked that you should take just a few moments for yourself. Breathe deeply, tell yourself that everything will be all right, and remind yourself that your child is watching you. Fake it if you must, but it's very important that you at least attempt to calm yourself for both your own sake and for your child's sake.
2. Check in With the Dentist
As soon as your child's dental emergency happens, phone the dentist straight away. This serves two purposes: it alerts the dentist that an emergency situation has occurred and allows them to prepare for it, and it also allows you to calm your child. Simply letting your child know that they'll soon arrive at the dentist's office, where they'll be taken care of straight away, is often enough to help them calm down a bit.
3. Control the Bleeding
Many dental emergencies involve excessive bleeding. Whether your child has knocked a tooth out or has some other dental emergency, it's helpful in maintaining calm if you can control the bleeding until you arrive at the dentist. After all, the very sight of large amounts of blood is enough to cause hysterics in anyone, especially in small children. Place sterile gauze -- or a clean paper hand towel in a pinch -- around the wound area. If the bleeding is heavy and continuous, apply light pressure whilst you place the gauze around the wound. Ask your child to hold the gauze in place if possible. It gives them something to focus on, which helps them stay calm.
4. Create a Feeling of Comfort
Whilst it's understandable that you're in a rush to get to the dentist's office with your child, you can spare a few extra seconds for something important -- a friend. Take along your child's favourite stuffed toy -- or any other comfort object that will distract them -- to keep them calm whilst you're on the way to the dentist's office. This comfort object will also be a good distraction during the examination and dental treatment, so it's worth making sure you can bring it along if possible.
Whilst dental emergencies certainly aren't fun for anyone, they can be less stressful for both you and your child if you follow the tips discussed above. It takes just a few extra moments to do these things, and it's well worth the time investment when your child calmly gets through the dental crisis.