Preventing Tooth Abscesses in Children: Tips from a Pediatric Dentist

Preventing Tooth Abscesses in Children: Tips from a Pediatric Dentist

January 25, 2023 / in / by Fort Worth Children's Dentistry
tooth abscesses

Tooth abscesses are serious infections that, if left untreated, can cause various problems. These include difficulty eating, speaking, severe pain and other complications. They can also result in the extraction of the affected tooth.

Preventing tooth abscesses can help kids maintain good oral health while avoiding the pain and discomfort that the condition can cause. It can help them avoid needing more costly and invasive treatments like tooth extraction or root canal therapy.

What is a Tooth Abscess?


A tooth abscess is a pus-filled pocket that develops in the mouth due to a bacterial infection. It can develop at the tip of the tooth root, in the gum tissue surrounding the tooth, or in the space between the gum and the cheek.

Tooth abscesses commonly stem from tooth decay or gum disease and can be excruciatingly painful. Severe toothache, fever, swelling in the face or neck, difficulty swallowing, and a bad taste in the mouth are all symptoms of a tooth abscess. It can spread to other body parts and cause severe complications if left untreated.

Preventing Tooth Abscesses in Kids



Encourage Proper Dental Hygiene Habits


Oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth abscesses and maintaining good oral health. Encourage your kids to brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between their teeth. They should also use mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen their breath. 

Please encourage them to brush their teeth for at least two minutes at a time, using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can help make brushing more enjoyable for your kids by using flavored toothpaste or allowing them to choose their toothbrush.

Encourage Regular Dental Exams


Regular dental examinations are essential for detecting and treating potential problems before they worsen. According to the American Dental Association, kids should see a dentist every six months. The dentist will examine, clean, and look for signs of tooth decay or other problems during these checkups. 

Limit Sugary Drinks and Foods


Sugary drinks and foods can cause tooth decay and increase the risk of dental abscesses. Limit your little ones’ consumption of sugary snacks such as candy, cookies, and cakes, and encourage them to drink water rather than sugary beverages. 

If they consume sugary foods and beverages, encourage them to brush their teeth or rinse their mouth with water afterward. That will help remove the sugar from their teeth.

Use Dental Sealants


Dental sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to prevent decay. They are ideal for children with deep grooves in their teeth or a history of decay. They can protect teeth from plaque and bacteria for several years.

Treatment typically involves draining the abscess and treating the underlying cause. That may entail a root canal to remove the infected tissue inside the tooth. Sometimes, it may be necessary to extract the tooth. Antibiotics may help treat the infection. If you suspect your little one has a tooth abscess, you should see a dentist immediately.

For more on pediatric dental care, visit Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at our Fort Worth, Texas office. Call 817-646-2200 to schedule an appointment today.