Children love to play actively, which often involves running, jumping, and engaging in various physical activities. While this active lifestyle is good for their overall development, it also increases their susceptibility to dental trauma. A blow to your child’s mouth might cause tooth damage, known as dental trauma. Teeth can loosen, fall out, or break. Teeth can be moved up into the socket as well. The tissues inside your child’s mouth could be damaged. Dental trauma can result in significant bleeding, pain, and swelling. Baby teeth that are broken or fall out cannot be replaced. Whereas, if possible, a permanent tooth that has been knocked out could be replaced in its socket.
When dental trauma occurs, the time between the accident and receiving medical assistance is essential. It is critical to understand the procedures to follow during dental emergencies in children, whether it is with your child or with someone else’s.
Every dental trauma should be examined by a kids dentist in Dubai as soon as possible to improve the treatment outcome. Before going to the dentist, here are 5 crucial techniques for dealing with dental trauma.
1. Keep Yourself and Your Child Calm
Keeping calm during dental trauma is very important for both you and your child. For you, maintaining a composed attitude helps in providing a soothing atmosphere for your child and reducing their anxiety and fear. When you remain calm, you can effectively communicate with your pediatric dentist to ensure that your child receives prompt and appropriate treatment. Furthermore, staying calm lets you make informed decisions about what to do next. On the other hand, for your child, a calm environment promotes a sense of safety and trust, which can help alleviate their distress. It will also encourage them to cooperate with the dentist during the dental procedure. This is especially helpful if your child has dental phobia. By managing your own emotions and by staying composed, you can positively influence your child’s emotional state and their overall dental experience.
Take your child to a dentist for anxious patients. Dr. Yasmin specialises in treating kids with dental anxiety. Children show off their healthy, cheerful smiles and a wide grin after seeing Dr. Yasmin. This is where her superpowers come into play – she’s a paediatric dentist known for her joy and laughter!
2. Assess the Situation
If your child suffers from dental trauma, you should first determine the degree of the injury. Check if there is any bleeding, a loose tooth, or gum or surrounding tissue damage. Your child may require immediate dental care depending on the type and severity of the damage. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding does not stop, the tooth is knocked off, the jaw has been dislocated, or anything that you feel might require immediate medical intervention. Visit your dentist as soon as possible.
3. Keep the Knocked-off or Chipped Tooth Safe
Dental emergencies in children can occasionally cause a tooth to knock-off or chip. To minimise swelling, rinse your child’s mouth with warm water and use a cold compress. If possible, save any broken pieces and bring them to your dentist. The dentist will evaluate the damage and recommend the best course of action, which could involve bonding, a crown, or root canal therapy.
Here’s how you can handle the knocked-off tooth
- Save the tooth. Do not touch the roots, rather handle it by the crown.
- Rinse the tooth with water to remove dirt and debris without scrubbing or scraping.
- If your child is older, gently press the tooth back into its original socket. (This is only applicable for permanent teeth and not milk teeth)
- Place the tooth in a glass of milk or saliva if your child is younger (do not try to reinsert the tooth since there are chances they might end up swallowing it).
- Don’t allow the tooth to dry before transporting it. Moisture is crucial for successful reimplantation. Place it in milk or even water if needed if you couldn’t put it back in your child’s tooth socket.
4. Reduce Swelling
Reducing swelling during your child’s dental trauma is essential for various good reasons. Firstly, swelling can cause your child to feel discomfort and pain. By reducing the swelling, your child can be a bit relieved and feel more at ease. Secondly, swelling can interfere with proper oral hygiene and impede the healing process. By minimising swelling, the risk of complications and infections can be reduced.
There are several effective ways to reduce swelling
- Apply a cold compress or ice pack to your child’s affected area. This can help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
- Wrap the cold compress in a cloth to prevent direct contact with your child’s skin.
- Don’t offer antibiotics to your child unless and until prescribed by your dentist
- Rinsing with a saltwater solution can also help minimise swelling and promote healing.
5. Visit your Dentist Immediately
Many parents are unsure whether their child should seek medical assistance following a dental or mouth injury. If your child has any of the following symptoms, it’s crucial to visit the dentist immediately without delay:
- Tooth pain, discomfort, or sensitivity (to hot/cold or pressure),
- If your child’s tooth is fractured, loose, or missing as a result of trauma (the tooth could also have been inhaled or swallowed),
- If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure
- If your child has a huge or gaping wound within their mouth or on their face
- If there is a tear or cut on their lip that extends through the lip’s border into the surrounding skin.
- If your child has pain in their jaw when opening or closing their mouth
- If they are having difficulties swallowing or breathing
- If an object becomes lodged in the roof of their mouth, cheek, tongue, or throat (do not remove the object)
- If your child develops a fever with a temperature above 100 degrees fahrenheit or shows other signs of infection following a mouth or tooth injury (localised redness, pus, and increased pain), get medical attention immediately. Signs of a more serious infection may include neck discomfort or stiffness, difficulty opening the mouth completely, drooling, or chest pain.
Describe the nature of the injury to your dentist and also share your child’s medical history. Your dentist will evaluate your child’s mouth, throat, head, neck, and body during the physical examination and determine the best treatment.
Tips to Prevent Dental Trauma in Children
Though it’s not possible to rule out dental trauma from occurring, it can be prevented by taking precautions and teaching your child basic safety measures.
- Teach your child not to push other kids when they are playing
- When playing sports, riding a bike, skateboarding, or roller skating, make sure your child wears a helmet and mouthguard.
- Teach your child to use the ladder to exit a swimming pool.
- Teach your child to be mindful of their own and their friends’ teeth when playing.
- Teach them to always fasten their seat belt in the car
- Teach your child not to cut or open objects with their teeth. Allow them to use scissors only when they are older.
- Chewing on hard things such as pencils or cans can also cause tooth injury and is a bad habit that should be stopped
- Make sure your children visit the dentist on a regular basis to ensure their teeth are healthy.
Seeking immediate dental care and adhering to the measures outlined above can help save your child’s mouth and protect their smile for years to come. If you have any questions, please contact the best pediatric dentist in Dubai, right away
About Dr. Yasmin Kottait: Having dedicated 16 years of her career to spreading smiles and imparting knowledge of oral hygiene to children, Dr. Yasmin is a renowned name and face in the field of Pediatric dentistry in Dubai. Her joyful personality and magical kid-whispering powers make dental appointments for kids an easy sail – and lots of fun, that they never miss a single dental appointment with her! Dr. Yasmin is also one of the few Autism friendly dentists in the region, with a diploma in Cognitive Based Hypnotherapy and IBCCES Autism certification.