Regardless of whether or not they wear helmets or mouth guards, active kid still have a risk of oral injury. If your child plummets from the monkey bars, flips over a bicycle or falls off a skateboard and knocks his or her front teeth out, you are likely to see blood rushing out of his or her mouth. This sight can be scary, but if you stay calm, it will be easier to deal with the situation. If you are a parent of an active kid, here's what you need to know about responding to dental injuries:
1. Salvage the Knocked Out Teeth
As soon as you realize that your child has lost teeth, begin to look for them. If they have fallen onto grass or dirt, rinse them gently with water. Just grab your child's water bottle and slowly pour a trickle over the teeth. If possible, replace the teeth in your child' mouth and have him or her hold them in place with gauze. If you do not have gauze, ask the coaches or parents in the area – it is a fairly standard first aid kit item.
If you cannot replace the tooth, place it in a glass of milk or water. Alternatively, ask your child to hold the teeth in the side of his or her mouth. Kids under five may not have the ability to hold a tooth in their cheeks, and if your kids are this young, avoid giving them the knocked-out tooth as they may lose or even swallow it.
2. Seek Medical Help Immediately
As soon as possible after the accident, call your dentist and schedule an emergency appointment. The dentist will try to replace the teeth, and if the replacement is successful, your dentist will give you instructions on how to keep the teeth firmly planted in the mouth. If the dentist cannot replace the teeth, ask for a 3D x-ray or a cone beam scan of the damaged area.
3. Request 3D X-Rays
Rather than worrying about the teeth, you need to think about possible bone loss in the tooth sockets. The sockets hold the teeth in place, and once a tooth is knocked, the socket around it immediately starts to wear down. If not treated as soon as possible, any damage to this area can get worse and threaten the integrity of the entire mouth. Additionally, if your child's bone socket becomes too worn down, it may not be able to hold a replacement tooth in the future.
4. Continue Regular Dental Care and Orthodontic Treatment
After an accident, it is critical to continue with your child's regular dental routine. When your child has regular dental appointments, the dentist can keep an eye on how the treatment and recovery process is going. Additionally, if your child was scheduled for orthodontic work, continue with that as well.
If your child lost his front teeth permanently, the orthodontist can temporarily affix artificial front teeth to the braces. The orthodontist can also prevent the other teeth from shifting into the space created by the knocked-out teeth.
5. Look for a Permanent Solution
After the loss of front teeth, there are a few different solutions. Your child can wear dentures, but in most cases, dental implants are stronger and easier to maintain. The root of a dental implant fuses directly to the bones in your mouth, and once fused, these titanium implants have crowns (fake teeth) attached to them.
Unlike bridges, dental implants, through a place like First Coast Periodontics, P.A., do not attach to adjacent teeth. Instead, they standalone just like your natural teeth. However, before your child receives dental implants, he or she must be done growing. Girls can typically get implants when they are sixteen and boys when they are eighteen.