Common Children’s Tooth Injuries That Happen at Home
- July 17th, 2019
- Pediatric Dental Care Tips
It is easy to stick to the basics of your child’s dental health. Proper dental hygiene and keeping your children’s regular dental checkups are the most important aspects of your child’s dental health. However, it is also important to keep in mind how easy it is for children to experience injuries that can lead to damage, tooth loss, and pain.
Keep in mind that close to half of all children will suffer a tooth injury during childhood. Since most injuries are preventable, here are some tips to help you avoid the most common childhood dental emergencies and what to do if an injury happens at home.
A fall or hit to the face can loosen your child’s teeth. A loose tooth should be looked at right away. This is because a loose tooth could indicate deep nerve damage. Depending on the situation there can be damage to the permanent tooth. This is rare but can occur when the baby tooth is forced into the socket. Your dentist can take an x-ray to see what damage has occurred.
Premature Primary Tooth Loss
Your child’s primary teeth — or baby teeth — follow their own schedule for loss as their adult teeth grow in. However, when it comes to dental injuries, the most common is premature primary tooth loss. This usually occurs due to a fall or while playing sports.
If your child loses a primary tooth due to injury, call a dentist right away to set up an emergency appointment. They will assess the damage to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems.
Permanent Tooth Loss
If your child knocks out an adult tooth, it’s possible to save the tooth if you act fast. Find the tooth and clean it off by rinsing it gently with water. Do not rub the tooth. You can then put the tooth back in place and call our office for an emergency appointment.
You can also place the tooth in a cup of cold milk and proceed to our office right away. This might be best if you are worried your child might swallow the tooth. If you can get to our office within ten minutes, the tooth root has a good chance of surviving. In fact, about 85% of teeth that are placed in the socket within five minutes survive.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Injuries can also include chips, breaks or cracks. When this happens, the damage might not be deep enough to cause serious harm. However, a sharp edge could be dangerous and cause cuts to your child’s tongue, cheeks or lips.
For shallow chips in very young patients, we often wait to fill the tooth as small children will not be able to remain still for us to complete the work. If the chip is more serious and has exposed the soft dentin a filling will be required to avoid decay.
If your child breaks a permanent tooth, call us right away.
Badly Bitten Lip or Tongue
This is very common for front falls or when your child is hit in the face. To stop the bleeding, press down on the bloody area using a clean cloth. If bleeding persists, head to urgent care. An ice pack can be used to reduce swelling.
A hard hit or impact to the face and jaw can also dislodge fillings. If this happens, you can use sugarless gum to fill the hole to protect the tooth. You can then call our office to set up an emergency appointment.
Other Dental Emergencies
Aside from injury, there are other dental emergencies that can occur at home including:
If your child complains of a toothache, call our team and set up an appointment at your earliest convenience. You can help keep your child comfortable using over-the-counter pain medicine. Never place the pills directly on the sore tooth, just follow the dosage instructions as usual. If the pain is quite bad you can also place an ice pack against their face where the tooth is sore. Do not apply heat as it will make things worse.
2.Object stuck between teeth
Try gently trying to remove the object with dental floss. Do not use a sharp object to try to dislodge the object. If the dental floss doesn’t work, call our office to set up an appointment so we can remove it for you. If left in your child’s teeth it can cause infection and tooth decay.
Dental Injury Prevention
There are some safety precautions you can take at home to help avoid dental injuries including:
Many homes have unsafe stairs that have slick steps, loose carpeting or missing bannisters. Always use gates at the top and bottom of your stairways if you have small children. You can also repair loose carpeting to avoid tripping hazards. If you have slick wood stairs, consider adding a runner, or applying a non-slip finish. Your stairs should also have a bannister. Last but not least, add padding to any exposed bottom stairs that jut out. This can reduce damage should a child trip and land face first unto the step.
Fireplaces require sturdy safety gates to keep small children from wandering into the fire. You should also keep fireplace tools out of reach. If you have a raised hearth it is a good idea to add some padding to the edges to soften the blow if your child takes a tumble.
As mentioned, tripping is a very common cause of premature tooth loss and dislocated teeth. Look for uneven surfaces in your home, as well as loose wires and cords that can be a tripping hazard. Area rugs are notorious for slips and falls, and should be lying flat and secured to the floor to avoid accidents. Loose wall-to-wall carpet can also be dangerous. Keep things neat and avoid having magazines, toys and other objects left on the floor.
This is a simple fix. Always make sure your child is wearing a mouthguard when they are participating in sports and activities. We can discuss the types of sports guards available to protect your child’s teeth while they are having fun.
These tips will help prevent injury and allow you to react quickly should an accident occur.
To learn more about protecting your child from a dental emergency, call Smile Town at 866 378 0026 or contact us here.