Did you know that the summer months are one of the most common times to see dental emergencies in children? One of the biggest reasons why is because kids are involved in activities like swimming (slippery surfaces), soccer (bumps and hits to the mouth), and snacking extra throughout the day on treats like popsicles or ice cream.
Here’s what you can do to limit your risks of a dental emergency or broken tooth this summer:
Invest in a Sports Mouthguard
A high percentage of athletic injuries involve the mouth and face. Between knocked-out or chipped teeth and busted lips, there can be a lot of pain and bleeding involved. And, if there is damage to the teeth, a lot of future dental work to maintain and care for. Wearing a protective sports mouthguard during athletic activities can lower your child’s chances of a broken tooth and even a concussion. A big contributor to concussions is actually the shockwave that is created when upper and lower teeth clang together after a collision. Putting a soft, absorbent mouth guard in between the teeth greatly reduces the damaging nature of these types of collisions.
Side note: not all athletic mouthguards are created equal. Professionally fitted appliances offer the highest level of protection but there are many store bought brands that are acceptable. Remember, our braces patients need special mouthguards that can accommodate too movement. We have these mouthguards in office and can recommend a size and fit depending upon your child’s size, tooth position and particular sport. Don’t hesitate to ask us about mouthguards when you are at your next visit.
Set the Ground Rules Early
If your child is involved in a summer activity that puts them at a greater risk of injury, talk about ways to stay safe. For instance, if they’re going to the pool a few times a week, make sure they know there’s zero tolerance for running on the pool deck or roughhousing near the edge of the pool where someone may bump their head or face into the ledge. With all of those slippery surfaces, all it takes is one fall to equate to a trip to the dentist or emergency room.
Have a Plan
Dental injuries happen when you least expect them. We recommend parents keep a first aid kit in the car with a small sealable container and a travel bottle of contact solution (saline). Schools usually have milk or Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution to put a tooth in if it is knocked out at school. If a tooth is knocked out, try not to handle it or clean it off but do put it in one of the solutions above if you can. Another key is to call us immediately and make an appointment to see us as soon as possible. Be sure to have an anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin to treat pain, and clean gauze to apply pressure if there is bleeding.
We’re always ready for an emergency, big or small. Be sure to keep our number 586-286-0700 programmed in your phone just in case something happens so you don’t even have to think about that in the heat of the moment.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.