Did you know there are certain things that happen during the summer months that tend to cause more accidents involving teeth than at any other time of the year? With warmer days inching closer, this means your child is going to start spending more time outside partaking in activities they may not have been able to do during the winter. Therefore, we want to make sure your kid’s teeth are staying protected while still allowing them to have fun.
Due to the increase in contact sports, like football or basketball, during the warmer weather, we recommend making a mouthguard a standard piece of your children’s sports equipment from an early age. Mouthguards help prevent chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth and protect your child’s lips, tongue, face, and jaw. According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards should be utilized not only in contact sports but also sports like shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, surfing, and weightlifting.
Another outdoor activity that’s especially popular in our area is biking. No matter if your child is mountain biking, dirt biking, or just riding down the street, we advise them to wear a mouthguard along with other protective gear like a helmet and knee pads.
Mouthguards are also beneficial in activities that aren’t sports related, like playing on the playground, swimming, falling in the bathtub or even running into something in the backyard like a picnic table or barbeque grill. Parents may not be aware that the amount of emergency or after-hours calls in the summer tends to increase and are usually due to a slide accident or a child falling into the pool. Therefore, we recommend being mindful of how your child gets in and out of the pool and being aware of the equipment your child is playing around.
What happens if my child does injure their teeth?
The number one thing parents should do immediately after their child receives an oral injury is contact their dentist. There are multiple dental emergencies that need to be addressed quickly in order to ensure a child doesn’t lose a permanent tooth. Injuries like chips or fractures are not as time-sensitive; however, if a permanent tooth is completely knocked out, the child will need to get to the dentist as soon as possible in order to save the tooth.
In the case that a permanent tooth is knocked out, we recommend finding the tooth, if possible, picking it up by the crown of the tooth, not the roots, and placing it into a glass or bottle of milk to transport it to the dentist. Studies show that placing the tooth in milk helps maintain some of its root structure, allowing the tooth to have a higher life expectancy.
Other than accidents, parents will also want to contact their child’s dentist if they are experiencing severe pain in a tooth or swelling of their mouth that cannot be alleviated with typical pain relief strategies like Tylenol or ice packs. These could be early signs of an infection that will want to be addressed as soon as possible.
If your child is a PDAO patient, you can reach us for an emergency at (479) 582-0600 in which an emergency assistant will contact you back within an hour via text or call and will provide instructions for how to proceed.
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