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Over 50 percent of children sustain some type of injury to the tooth in their lifetime. These injuries are more common among boys 2-4 years of age, and boys and girls between the ages of two and three. Injuries more are common among these age groups because this is the age when motor coordination is developing. In addition, children in this age group are more active and involve themselves in rough play. Falls, fights and sports injuries are the most common causes of tooth injuries in children at home.
CHILD TOOTH INJURY
Injuries to the teeth are often not life-threatening, but injuries can cause issues such as damage to the permanent teeth, scarring, infection, and bleeding, and it can affect a child’s appearance and self-confidence. Fortunately, many of these injuries are preventable and treatable. Below are some of the most common tooth injuries children experience at home along with tips on how to prevent them.
TOOTH AVULSION (KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH)
This involves complete uproot of the tooth, could come as a result of fall, fight or sports related. The tooth completely detach from the gum, leaving behind a hole. Avulsed primary teeth cannot be replanted, but avulsed permanent teeth can be replanted. Replanted primary teeth can cause damage to the developing permanent tooth, so dentist advice parents to sacrifice avulsed primary teeth to prevent damage to permanent tooth. If the child has an avulsed permanent tooth, parents are advised to first check for signs of pain, rinse the child’s mouth with warm water, control for bleeding using a piece of sterile gauze, and contact a children’s dentist.
Child tooth injury result from force trauma to the face and jaw. Ones that occur at home are usually caused by trips, falls, and bumps. Moreover, broken teeth are not life-threatening, but can cause some dental complications and other issues such as damage to the blood vessels. Please check for pain and swelling, and visit the dentist for expert advice and treatment when a child breaks a tooth. Broken permanent teeth can be repaired by a childrens dentist. Parents are advised to save and store tooth fragments in tap water, and take them to a dentist for repair.
LOOSE PERMANENT TOOTH
A loose permanent tooth that interferes with eating should be treated immediately to prevent further damage and complications. A dentist can return the tooth to its correct position using stitches and splints. The treated tooth should be closely monitored for a couple of months because a root canal treatment may be needed. While waiting for treatment, parents are advised to rinse the tooth with warm water, check to make sure the tooth is in the correct position in the socket, and have their children bite down on cloth to prevent the tooth of wiggling.
OBJECTS CAUGHT IN THE TEETH
When a child complains or has something in between his or her teeth, parents are advised to use dental floss to remove it. Never use or allow a child to use metal, stick, glass or any sharp object in the mouth as this can cause pain, swelling and bleeding to the gum and teeth. Call or visit a dentist if you have difficulty removing the object with dental floss.
Fractured or chipped tooth occurs when a piece of the tooth is broken. It’s very common among children who grind their teeth, bite down on hard candy, and fall frequently. Some of the symptoms of a chipped/fractured tooth include pain or discomfort when eating and when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperature, sharp pain, and crack in the molars. Parents should contact a dentist if their children complain about any of these symptoms. Dentists can fix fractured/chipped tooth using different methods such as root canal, filling or crown, and performing endodontic surgery.
Toothache is caused by many factors such as falls, inserted sharp objects in the teeth, improper brushing, etc. Children tend to brush their teeth more aggressively than adults. Brushing aggressively causes the wear down of the enamel and gums, which causes bruises, cuts, and tooth sensitivity. When a child complains of a toothache, parents are advised to inspect to make sure nothing is caught between the teeth. Parents should to rinse the child’s mouth with warm and salted water solution or apply an ice pack outside of the jaw to reduce any swelling. Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be given to children to reduce pain. Parents need to make sure they are giving a dose appropriate for their child’s age and weight. Parents are also advised to take their children to the dentist if the pain doesn’t subside.
The best way to treat childs tooth injury is prevention, and there are many ways to prevent them.
Below are tips on how to prevent injuries
- Childproof the home and monitor children who are learning to walk or run closely.
- Let your children know that walking and running with an object in their mouth is not safe
- Tell your children not to suck or chew on sharp, hard, or pointed objects
- Make stairs safe and barricade when necessary to prevent children from falling and injuring themselves.
- Cover your fireplaces and put gates or barriers to prevent children from crawling over.
Tips On How To Prevent Sport Related Tooth and Mouth Injuries
- Mouth Guards: These are worn around the mouth when playing sports to protect the teeth and mouth.
- Face cages: This offers full protection to the face during sports activities thereby reducing trauma. Children should always wear face cages when playing sports like hockey and baseball.
- Helmets: Children should always wear helmets when playing sports, riding bikes, skateboarding, etc. Helmets protect the child’s both head, face, and teeth.
Note: Always assess and listen to complains from your child in regards his or her teeth. Call or visit a dentist for expert advice on how protect and properly care for these injuries.
Contact us Today About Child Tooth Injury
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400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
Your Home is a Child Tooth Injury Nightmare (7 FACTS)
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.