I have the pleasure of speaking with parents and their children all day; so I encounter all sorts of questions about dentistry for children on a daily basis. And I’ve noticed summer time is also prime accident time. Whether it’s skateboards or trampolines, trips abroad or swimming in the neighbor’s pool, accidents will happen.
The best thing you can do for your family is be prepared. After all, knowledge is power. So, I thought I’d take some time to answer the most common summer dental accidents I’ve encountered in my career as a pediatric dentist.
Frequently Asked Questions
My family is camping and one of my children fell down and knocked out a tooth. What should I do? If it’s possible, put the tooth back in it’s place, but if this isn’t an option, rinse the tooth in tap water without touching the root and bring it to the ER or dentist office in a small cup of milk, as soon as possible.
I’m on a road trip with my child and she has chipped her tooth on a popcorn kernel. What should I do? Be careful to keep the tooth as clean as possible and used fluoridated toothpaste to massage into the fracture. If you are able, send your dentist a picture of the fracture and definitely schedule a dental appointment as soon as you return home.
My family is road tripping and my child was chewing something gummy that pulled his crown off. What should I do? Keep it clean, but do not try to put it back on. Find something to store it in and make a dentist appointment as soon as you can.
My child is experiencing some tooth pain from a possible cavity, but we are camping and are far away from a dentist. Is there something I can do to help the pain? You might try giving your son or daughter ibuprofen for the pain. It’s especially important to keep the area very clean and of course, contact your dentist asap.
My 2-year-old child knocked out a tooth when he fell down, but it was only a baby tooth. Should I still take him to a dentist? Make sure the bleeding has stopped. Face and mouth trauma can seem especially bloody. And yes, take your child to be seen by a dentist, to ensure there is no trauma that needs to be addressed.
My child knocked out a permanent tooth and we can’t find the tooth to bring to the dentist. Do we still need to take them to a dentist immediately? If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, it may actually be intruded and not visible. So, yes. Bring her into the dentist as quickly as possible to get checked out.
My child hit his face while on a trampoline, visiting out of town family. There is a lot of blood in his mouth and we can’t see if there is any tooth damage, because of it. Should I go to the emergency room or a dentist? If your child did not lose consciousness, then you should take your child to see the nearest dentist. If there was a loss of consciousness, you do need to get to urgent care immediately.
My child and I went on a bike adventure and he crashed his bike and punctured his lip with a tooth. Does he need medical attention? Should I take him to a dentist or the emergency room? After a bike accident like this, a suture in the ER is likely. If you notice that teeth are loose, you can contact your dentist as well, but the suture should be the first priority.
My family and I are traveling for our children’s sports activities this summer and my child was hit in the mouth with a ball. Who should I go to when I’m not close to my preferred dentist? I would recommend the local children’s hospital, they will probably have an in-house pediatric dental program and a dentist on staff that can help.
I’m getting ready to go on a road trip with my family — children included. What are some ways I can help prevent tooth related trauma? Are there foods I should or shouldn’t let my children have on the road trip? It’s best to avoid sticky foods if your child has crowns or extensive restorative work. Anything such as Tootsie Rolls, gummi bears, and taffy should be avoided, to name a few. This is just good advice for every day.
I’m getting ready to go on a camping trip. What should I bring to be prepared for a “just in case” scenario regarding my child’s oral health? Don’t forget the toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthrinse. But, I’d also pack some gauze to stop any bleeding and ibuprofen to ease any aches or pains.
Always Be Prepared
As parents, we can’t prevent every single accident. But, we can be prepared in case of an emergency. It’s a good idea to keep your pediatric dentist’s phone number in your phone and be sure to pack extra gauze as well, because no one wants to spend their vacation in the ER. I hope this advice was helpful for you!
Here’s to a safe and happy summer, full of adventures for the whole family!
~ Dr. Randy