What to Do if Your Child’s Teeth Get Injured

Last updated on August 29th, 2015 at 03:22 pm

It’s inevitable that your child will fall or somehow injure himself at some point. Sometimes these accidents result in injuries to the mouth or teeth. How do you know when a trip to the dentist is warranted? How do you know if permanent damage has been done? Here are a few helpful hints on what to do to deal with this sometimes scary occurrence.

  1. Always remain calm and assure your child that everything will be okay.
  2. If there is bleeding present, place a clean piece of gauze over the site and have your child bite down or hold it place.
  3. Place a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  4. If the tooth is chipped, check the lips, gums and tongue for possibly embedded pieces.
  5. If a tooth is loose, have your child avoid movement of that tooth.

Any or all of theses occurrences warrant a trip to the dentist. There your dentist can assess and determine the best course of action. Loose, broken/chipped or otherwise injured teeth can often be repaired or stabilized. If permanent damage isn’t immediately apparent, it is often times difficult to determine if or when the trauma may result in something more extensive. In these cases, depending on the child’s age, children are put in a sort of holding pattern to determine the future vitality of the tooth. It can often take months or years for a trauma to manifest into future breaks or nerve damage.

If your child falls or is hit in the face but does not show any of these symptoms, the decision to go to the dentist may become questionable. First and foremost, we as parents know our children better than anyone. If you believe seeing your dentist is necessary, then go. I don’t know a single dentist who has ever been unwilling to take a look at a child after an injury no matter how minor. If you decide that your child does not need immediate attention, you should monitor the area at home or a few days. Symptoms may become evident later. If the area becomes painful, swollen or the teeth become discolored or loose, a trip to the dentist is recommended.

Chances are you won’t be able to prevent every fall or injury but here are a few precautions:

  • Take childproofing steps that discourage slipups and soften those inevitable falls. Stash slippery throw rugs (and make sure all area rugs have non-skid pads or backing) and pad table edges and anything else that’s sharp.
  • To cut down on trips and falls, let your cruising baby or fledgling walker practice those skills barefoot or in nonskid socks or slippers, when possible.
  • Don’t let your child walk or run while holding toys or eating.
  • Make sure your child has the proper protection while engaged in sports- i.e. athletic mouth guards and/or helmets.

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About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

Comments

One Response to “What to Do if Your Child’s Teeth Get Injured”

  1. Great advice. It is true that parents have an excellent sense of when medical attention is necessary. Usually they will know exactly when a situation warrants a trip to a medical professional. It is always safer to err on the side of caution, especially when children are concerned, but worrying too much about a minor injury might cause more harm than good.

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