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620 California Blvd Suite G, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Located in the California Medical Center

Emergency Pediatric Dentist — San Luis Obispo, CA

Child In Dental Pain? We’re Ready to Help!

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Little girl holding jaw

If your child experiences a dental emergency, do your best not to panic. We know this is far easier said than done! Fortunately, all you have to do is follow these easy steps:

  • Step 1: Call Us As Soon As You Can! We do everything we can to see emergency patients for same-day appointments. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can schedule you! One of our team members will also walk you through basic first aid for handling your child’s situation until you arrive.
  • Step 2: See Dr. Forester for an Exam. When you arrive, your San Luis Obispo emergency pediatric dentist Dr. Forester will see your child right away. He’ll provide any necessary pain relief while evaluating their oral health, then review the findings with you and explain your treatment options. Together, you’ll make a treatment plan that works best for your family.
  • Step 3: Get the Fast & Gentle Care Your Child Needs! Once a treatment plan has been made, our team will jump into action. Your child’s comfort and safety will be our top priorities whether they need a root canal, tooth extraction, or any other emergency service. We use the latest dental technology and offer children’s dental sedation to ensure they are as comfortable as possible while we care for their smile.

The Most Common Pediatric Dental Emergencies

Children’s dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some come on suddenly, like a broken or knocked-out tooth, while other can develop over time, like a severe toothache. What’s more, it’s not always easy to tell when a situation calls for urgent dental care. We trust your intuition and instincts as a parent: if you are concerned about your child’s oral health, we want you to give us a call. We’ll work with you over the phone to determine when your child should be seen and schedule your appointment accordingly. We’ll also go over how to manage their symptoms until you reach us. Below, you’ll find important information about some of the most common children’s’ dental emergencies we treat.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

dad and daughter brushing their teeth together

Just as with little stumbles and mishaps, you may not be able to prevent all dental emergencies from happening to your kid. However, simple steps can lower your child’s risk of experiencing one. These steps may or may not be easy to implement into your child’s lifestyle, but these critical, healthy habits will serve them well throughout their lifetime. In other words, by taking these steps, you can help your kid avoid unnecessary dental pain and injury now and into adulthood.

Visit Your Pediatric Dentist Regularly

At Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, we agree with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, which says that children should see a pediatric dentist at least every six months starting at around one year old. These frequent visits allow us to potentially identify issues toward the beginning of their development, meaning we can catch cavities before they cause your child pain or weak teeth before they crack. Plus, we’ll help your child how to keep damaging plaque to a minimum with a thorough dental cleaning.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Equally as important as their semi-annual dental visit, your child’s oral hygiene routine must become part of their normal daily routine. Brushing and flossing every day keeps plaque from sticking to teeth and digging into the enamel. While your kid is young, you may need to do most of the brushing, but with practice, time, and patience, they can learn how to do it on their own efficiently and protect their teeth from harm.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

Although some occasional sweet treats are okay, it’s important that your child has a balanced diet filled with nutrients and various foods. Overly processed foods, candy, soda, juice, sticky fruit snacks, and more can increase their risk of developing tooth decay; on the other hand, fruits and vegetables, milk, whole grains, and other foods can give your child necessary vitamins and minerals to fight infection and keep their teeth strong against eroding acids and cavities.

Provide a Mouthguard

If your child is active in sports and other activities, especially where they may get hit in the face, they need to have and actually wear a mouthguard. We find that kids are more likely to wear their mouthguard as they ride a skateboard, play lacrosse, etc. if it fits comfortably. If you are having trouble finding a mouthguard at the sports store, we may provide a custom mouthguard that is perfectly fitted to their unique mouth.

Use Tools to Open Packages, Not Teeth

As your child grows, they will want to do many things on their own, but they might try to do them “the easy way.” Instead of getting a pair of scissors to open a bag or to cut through plastic packaging, they may try to use their teeth as a shortcut. If you see this, please stop them, and grab the appropriate tool to do the job. Teeth are meant to bite and grind food, and using them improperly could cause them to chip or crack.

Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry

Child holding his face with dental pain

When facing their child’s dental emergency, parents can not only worry about their child’s well-being but also the cost associated with treatment. The important thing to keep in mind is that the sooner you address the problem, the more cost effective treatment will be. Along the same lines, the longer you wait to seek help, the more expensive it will become. At Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, we can explain your financial options and ease any concerns about paying for restoring your favorite little smile, so don’t wait to reach out to our team.

Every Dental Emergency is Unique

girl holding her face with tooth pain

Even if two children come in with the same dental emergency, treatment may be different. For instance, for some toothaches, a filling is sufficient to take care of the decay, but for others, more advanced root canal treatment is necessary to eradicate the whole infection. As a result, the cost will be unique to each situation. Once we know your child’s dilemma and have examined them, we can let you know what they need and how much it will cost.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?

mom and son at the dentist front desk

Exact coverage for specific treatments can vary from plan to plan, but most dental insurance policies apply to emergency care. Typically, you can expect insurance to pay for about half of the cost of restorative services like crowns or root canals. We can check your plan and let you know the amount your insurance company will contribute to the total and how much you’ll still need to cover. 

Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable

father and daughter at the front desk of a dental office

Many families may not have the funds to pay for emergency treatment upfront. Or perhaps they would simply prefer to pay over the course of several months to ease the impact on their wallet. In either case, we can accept payment through flexible financing. The application process is simple, and it divides the total into smaller monthly payments that can take stress off your budget.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Smile Can Save Money

young child having a dental checkup

Do you want to know the secret to saving money on dental emergencies? Prevention! There’s the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In terms of money, it is estimated that for every dollar spent in dental prevention, families can save between $8 and $50 on restorative services.

Prevention entails making sure your child thoroughly brushes and flosses their teeth every day and comes to our office routinely (about every six months) for checkups and cleanings. Also, for protection, have them wear a mouthguard when they play contact sports or activities where an impact to the face could happen.

Call Your Pediatric Dentistry for Same-Day Dental Emergency Care

Smiling young girl

Call us immediately if your child is experiencing these or any other dental emergencies. Our team in San Luis Obispo is happy to be here for your family. We offer a wide range of services, including pulp therapy/ root canals for kids, tooth extractions, and sedation dentistry.