Making an emergency trip to the dentist probably isn’t at the top of your list of things to worry about. Chances are, if you are packing your kid into the car due to one of the dental emergencies that could happen, you are concerned about severe tooth pain, severe gum bleeding, or tooth loss.
Taking steps to prevent dental emergencies in the first place can significantly lessen the risk of these things happening. Read on for five recommendations from your pediatric dentist on decreasing your chances of dental emergencies for your child.
Top Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Let’s face it, kids will be kids, and accidents will happen. As a parent, it can be frightening to see your child experience a fractured tooth, toothache, or other dental emergencies. So, before we tell you how to prevent dental emergencies, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what dental emergencies in kids are in the first place.
- Cut or bitten tongue, lip, or cheek
- Knocked-out baby tooth
- Knocked-out permanent tooth
- Potentially broken or fractured jaw
- A severe blow to the head
- Severe toothache
- Tooth sensitivity
- Object stuck in mouth
- Dental abscess
- Lost or loose fillings
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Now that you know what the top ten dental emergencies in kids are, let’s discuss how to prevent them.
1. Teach good oral hygiene at home.
A good home oral care routine can help set the foundation for a safe and healthy mouth. Daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash can keep bacteria under control and help lessen the risk of tooth decay. Further, teaching your child good oral hygiene when they are young can set them up for success in the future. This means less missed time at school, fewer toothaches and discomfort related to cavities, less need for pediatric restorative dentistry, and more time spent having fun as a kid–the way it should be.
2. Visit the dentist every six months.
Though taking care of your teeth at home is vital to good oral health, so is a trip to the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral examination. Only your child’s pediatric dentist has the tools and skills to remove stubborn plaque deposits adequately. Further, they can examine your child’s mouth for oral health issues that may require preventive care.
3. Get your child sealants and fluoride treatments.
Sealants are thin and transparent plastic covers painted on the teeth’s chewing surfaces. Sealants are highly effective in keeping food debris from getting trapped in the teeth’ grooves and turning into plaque when they bind with bacteria. Fluoride treatments provide an extra boost of support by supporting healthy dental enamel and fighting the bacteria known to harm teeth and gums.
4. Get your child a mouthguard for sports.
If your child plays any type of contact sport, a mouthguard (and a helmet for certain sports) is a must-have. But don’t just buy an off-the-shelf mouthguard. They are often uncomfortable and can slip out of place when your child is at play. Your dentist can create a custom-fit mouthguard that is safe and comfortable for your child, providing far more protection for their teeth.
5. Stick to tooth-friendly foods.
We all know that various candies, crackers, and sugary foods can taste delightful. Unfortunately, these delights are short-lived, and these same sweet treats are quite unhealthy for our teeth and gums. Crispy chips, hard pretzels, and crunchy popcorn kernels can cause damage to teeth if you bite too hard on them. And sticky foods, such as caramel, syrups, and honey can increase the risk of damaging tooth enamel and developing cavities.
Not only that, but these same snacks that are bad for the teeth are also generally bad for your kids’ overall health and are best avoided altogether. Foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, celery, carrots, apples, pears, leafy greens, nuts, and lean meats are often the healthiest options for a healthy smile and a healthy body.
Partner with your kids’ pediatric dentist in Waldorf and Prince Frederick, MD to prevent dental emergencies.
One of the best ways to prevent dental emergencies is to bring your child to regular dentist appointments. If your child requires a dental cleaning or is ready for their first dental visit, request an appointment with one of our dental offices. At We Make Kids Smile, we make pediatric appointments, offering two convenient locations with dental offices in Waldorf and Prince Frederick, MD. We look forward to meeting you and your child and partnering with you to avoid dental emergencies now and in the future.