Ouch! What to do if your child gets a tooth knocked out

Summertime can be one of the most fun and active seasons for your child, but it can also be one of the most dangerous seasons when it comes to dental injuries. It is not uncommon for children to fall off a bike or get injured during a sport and realize they have lost a tooth. If this happens, don’t panic. Teeth can be saved in most cases when an adult can quickly jump into action. First, though, check two things: make sure your child does not have any other serious injuries that may require an ambulance, and determine if the tooth that was knocked out was a baby tooth or an adult tooth.

If the tooth was a baby tooth, don’t worry about finding the tooth or getting it placed back into the mouth. It is still a good idea to see the dentist to make sure no other damage was done, but it is not vital to save the tooth when an adult tooth will soon be erupting anyway. If, however, it was an adult tooth, there are several things you can do to preserve the tooth and increase the chances of it being successfully replanted into the mouth. Just remember that the faster you locate the tooth and get your child to the dentist, the more likely it is that the tooth can be saved. If a tooth is knocked out:

  • Do not let the tooth dry out, and do not soak it in water. If the tooth is dirty, put it in milk immediately.
  • Do not scrape or touch the root surface.
  • After making sure the tooth is clean, put it back into the socket and hold it in place on the way to the dentist. If it cannot be put back into the socket, keep it in a glass of milk to prevent it from drying out.
  • Go straight to your True Dental Disocunts dentist or a hospital immediately. During treatment, a dentist will give your child a “splint” to keep the tooth in place while it heals.

It is important to remember that knocked-out teeth can often be prevented by reminding your child to wear a mouth guard during recreational and sporting activities. Teeth are surprisingly easy to damage, so it’s always better to be overly cautious and protect your child’s beautiful smile.

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Protect your child’s teeth by monitoring their diet

It is common knowledge that too many sweets can lead to tooth decay, but research points to another food group that parents should watch out for: starches. Starch can be found in a wide variety of foods – even so-called “healthy” ones like crackers, bread, pasta and pretzels. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests checking food labels for the presence of sugars and starches and then limiting those foods to mealtimes instead of as a snack. When consumed with other foods and drinks, sugars and starches are more easily washed away and removed from around a child’s teeth.

For the same reason, sticky-sweet foods like dried fruit are more likely to damage your child’s teeth because they often get stuck in the crevices. One common trap that many parents fall into is giving their child access to sugar-laden condiments, like many kinds of ketchup and salad dressings. These types of foods are not always associated with being sweet, but they often have lots of added sugar and can cause problems for kids who like to dip everything from chicken nuggets to apples. Finally, for very young children, experts recommend never putting them to bed with any liquid other than water. Juices and even milk are full of sugars that can sit on your child’s teeth while they’re sleeping and produce cavity-causing bacteria. To be safe, ask your discount pediatric dentist for her input on your children’s diet. She can recommend healthy foods that are good for their bodies and their teeth.

Protect your kids’ teeth this Halloween

Your kids have just gotten home from a long night of trick-or-treating, and they dump pillowcases full of candy onto your living room floor. Before they dive in, you wonder: What can I do to protect their dental health when they are surrounded by so many treats? The first step, many experts say, is helping the kids organize their candy and allowing them to keep only their favorite kinds. By getting rid of all the extra candy, you will limit the amount of sugar they are exposed to over the following days. Next, eliminate the sticky candies and hard candies. These types of treats remain on your teeth long after the candy has been consumed, causing more damage than a piece of chocolate or peanut butter cup would.

In addition, hard candies can chip a child’s tooth or cause them to choke, so it is better to eliminate all of those varieties immediately. Getting rid of sticky candy is especially important if you have a child with braces; candies like Laffy Taffy can do damage to orthodontic appliances and potentially cost you hundreds of dollars in repair work. Finally, experts recommend that you set aside a certain time each day (for example, after dinner) to allow the kids to have a few pieces of their remaining candy. By keeping a consistent time for treats, you can make sure your children brush their teeth immediately afterward to get rid of harmful sugars. This is not typically possible at school, so avoid packing pieces in their lunches. When in doubt, talk to a True Dental Discounts pediatrician about the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children. Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your children’s oral health!

Does your child need dental braces?

One of the benefits of taking your child to see the dentist regularly is that he or she can monitor your child’s teeth and alert you to the need for orthodontic treatment. Parents can also look for warning signs so they are prepared to ask the dentist about any problematic teeth or mouth structures. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests all children should be evaluated by the age of 7 to determine the need or timeline for orthodontic treatment. It is important to talk to your child’s dentist about your options if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Crowded/overlapped teeth or highly separated teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth do not touch when chewing
  • Upper front teeth fall behind the bottom teeth when chewing
  • Upper front teeth extend too far over the bottom teeth when chewing, or protrude at an odd angle
  • Lower jaw shifts to one side when chewing

In addition, if your child still sucks his or her thumb after age 6 or so, there may be an increased risk for crooked teeth. The same goes for people who experience early or late loss of baby teeth and consistently breathe through their mouths. Ask your child’s dentist if it’s time for an orthodontic review. By staying aware of these signs and communicating with your dentist, you can make sure your child gets the treatment she needs at the correct time.

Visit True Dental Discounts for more health care tips, advice, and ways to save money!