Dealing with kids' summer dental surprises

Dealing with kids' summer dental surprises
Outdoor activities can mean more injuries to teeth.

(HealthDay)—Children play a lot of sports and other outdoor activities during the summer and are at risk for accidents that can damage their teeth, an expert says.

"Collision injuries with a friend, the ground or the side of a definitely increase during the summer," Dr. Stephen Mitchell, a at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a university news release.

"If something like this occurs, remember first and foremost to make sure your child does not have a head injury," he said. "If they have lost or are dizzy, or if they can't remember how the injury happened, get and worry about the teeth later."

Once you're certain there are no medical issues, here are some tips on what to do about damaged teeth:

  • If a tooth is broken, find the fragment and go immediately to the dentist, Mitchell said. This is especially important if the tooth appears to be bleeding from the middle and not just the gums.
  • If a tooth is knocked out, it's best to try to put it back in immediately. The site is normally numb immediately following an injury, so this shouldn't hurt. If the tooth can be put back in the mouth within a half-hour, a full recovery is much more likely.
  • If the tooth cannot be put back in the mouth, however, place it in milk and go straight to the dentist. Avoid touching the root of the tooth, and do not clean it beyond gently running it under water.
  • If a tooth has been moved out of its normal location, make sure your child sees a dentist immediately.

Mitchell also said summer is a good time to schedule dental check-ups for children.

"Don't wait until the last two weeks of summer because appointments can get very scarce," he said. "Plan ahead for the best flexibility in appointments."

More information: The Nemours Foundation offers tips to keep children's teeth healthy.

Related Stories

From one generation to the next, dental care changes

date May 18, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Stephanie Crowe, a mother of three from Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., still remembers dreading a visit to the dentist as a young girl. It was often a painful experience, and her family's dentist showed little empathy ...

Recommended for you

India's street dentists filling gap for the poor

date 13 hours ago

Ignoring noisy buses and curious onlookers, street dentist Allah Baksh plunges his hands into a patient's mouth to fit a sparkling set of dentures for $12 in the Indian city of Bangalore.

Dry mouth can reveal lingering health issues

date May 06, 2015

Deborah Berry had visited numerous health-care professionals, but no one was able to accurately diagnose and treat the many lumps and cuts on the inside of her mouth. Berry, who suffers from systemic lupus ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.