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Preventing Tooth Injuries During Your Child’s Active Summer
If you have an extremely active child you may have seen one or two falls in their day. Although it is true that active kids and teens are more prone to dental and other injuries, there are several precautions that can be taken to prevent or manage these occurrences.
How To Prevent Dental Injuries?
Infants should not run with a bottle, sippy cup or other objects in their mouth. Children should be discouraged from climbing or jumping from high surfaces such as a tabletop or bed in the home and definitely not left unattended.
Getting your baby or toddler to eat can sometimes be a challenge. If food is forced into the mouth with a bottle or spoon it is possible to cause damage to the soft developing oral tissues in the mouth. Foods with pointy surfaces such as chips can also cause injury to these tissues if not chewed carefully.
For older children, mouth guards should be worn while participating in sports. These can be picked up at your local drug store or your dentist can make a custom fit mouth guard.
Kids should wear a helmet during active sports such as football, or high-speed activities such as skateboarding or bike riding.
Children and adults should be careful wearing socks without grips on hardwood floor as these surfaces can often be slippery and lack of traction can cause a possible injury.
What To Do If Your Child Has a Dental Injury?
Dizziness, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or ears, lapse of memory, disorientation, or signs of fatigue may be an indication that a concussion has occurred. Patients with significant head, neck or facial trauma should be immediately taken to the emergency room to be evaluated.
If your child has extensive bleeding to the lip, gums or cheek area use gauze or a paper towel to apply pressure until the bleeding stops. A cold compress or ice cubes can be placed on the affected area to reduce swelling and relieve pain in some cases.
If a tooth is fractured, check to see if blood is coming from the inside of the tooth. This may indicate nerve exposure and you will need to see your dentist as soon as possible. If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out it should be re-implanted within one hour.
If possible rinse off the tooth with clean water or milk and place it back into the socket. Make sure you only touch the crown (visible part) of the tooth and not the root. If you are unable to re-implant due to pain or blockage store the tooth in milk or cheeks and bring it to the dental office as soon as possible. Your local dentist should evaluate dental injury without significant head or neck trauma. Make sure your child has a dental home that facilitates easy evaluations during a potentially difficult and traumatic time for you and your child.
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