Summer is a busy time when active children love to get outside to run and play, ride their bikes, and swim. Along with this energetic season comes the potential for accidents or injuries to occur. But you can get your household ready so that you have what you need to handle an oral injury that may come up.
First up is taking steps to keep accidents from happening in the first place. You can help keep your child’s smile safe by making sure of the following:
- Helping them understand that chewing hard foods like popcorn kernels and ice can chip or break their teeth.
- Making sure your child is in a car seat while your older kid wears a seatbelt when driving around.
- Childproofing your stairs to keep your child from accidentally falling down them.
- Giving your child a mouthguard to wear when they play contact sports.
- Showing your child how to keep toothaches away by brushing and flossing every day, no excuses.
Stocking Your Dental First Aid Kit
You can put together an emergency care kit for your children. Be sure to get some clean gauze, a small cup you can use for mouthwash (those plastic measuring cups that come with some medications work well), some kid-friendly mouthwash, cold compress, and a small tooth preservation cup or a small container with a lid.
In case of injury, you can also make the incident less traumatic by doing the following:
- Checking the area for bleeding and applying pressure to the injury to staunch the blood flow.
- Gently washing the injured area using some salt water or an antiseptic rinse.
- If there is swelling surrounding the injury, gently applying an ice pack (or cool compress) can help lower any swelling.
- Calling our office if the injury is serious, so your child can see the dentist as soon as possible.
Potential Injuries and Their Treatment at Home
Handling a Toothache: Not all toothaches need immediate attention. Sometimes it’s just bits of food trapped between teeth, making the gums hurt. Flossing gently and rinsing well can often take care of that. If they still feel pain and you give them a mild pain reliever and a cold compress to soothe the area, they may need to be seen by our dentist. In that case, please give us a call to see what to do next.
Biting the Cheek, Lip, or Tongue: A cold compress may be all you need to help soothe bleeding, pain and swelling. Rinsing the area with water can also help. You do want to make sure the bleeding stops, however, and if it doesn’t, you may need to call us for an emergency appointment.
Losing a Baby Tooth: Don’t worry if your child accidentally loses a baby tooth prematurely, as long as the bleeding stops. Gently pick up the tooth, place it in a container of milk, saliva, or a tooth preservation container, and have your child bite gently on some sterile gauze. The sooner your child can be seen, the better chances of the tooth being reattached. We can help prevent infection, control the bleeding, check out their bite, and assess whether a mouth spacer needs to be placed.
Call to Schedule Your Child’s Next Visit
By being prepared for potential oral injuries this summer, your child can go outside with confidence and enjoy the fruits of the season while you have peace of mind. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s growing smile, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are always here to make sure your child gets the best pediatric dental care possible!