With summer sunshine comes an abundance of days spent at little league games and poolside gatherings. Although a guaranteed way to beat summer boredom, these activities pose a greater risk for dental accidents. But, not to worry! With a little bit of preparation, you can help protect your family from common dental emergencies.
On the Field
One of the most recommended, yet often overlooked ways to protect children's teeth during sports is with the use of a properly-fitting helmet. Although generally limited to sports with high-impact potential, helmets help offer significant coverage to the neck, face, and mouth. For many sports, helmets can be modified to include additional protection as needed (such as face guards, chin straps, etc.). However, even the best helmets do not offer comprehensive coverage alone. In addition to a properly fitting helmet, our specialists recommend the use of a mouth guard for highly active children. A mouth guard (typically made from a child-friendly plastic) is a discrete dental appliance which is worn over the teeth and provides protection for not just teeth, but lips, cheeks, and gums as well.
At the Pool
Though children face little risk of tooth trauma directly from swimming, barring an accidental wall bump, injuries can (and often do) occur while playing outside of the pool. Most pools have "No Running" posted around the area because water often gathers around swimming pools which makes things extra slippery and increases the risk for dental damage. Many children (especially young children) don’t even realize that teeth can chip or crack! While the excitement of the pool can be a lot for little ones to handle, it's important for parents to encourage poolside safety. Slippery surfaces and diving into shallow waters can result in very scary situations for both parents and children.
On the Go
Whether packing for an extended family vacation or just a day trip, it's important to be prepared for any type of emergency—dental emergencies included! When preparing your family's first-aid kit, consider including the following items:
- Clean Handkerchief. A clean handkerchief can be used to hold a reinserted, displaced tooth in its place while you are en route to the emergency dentist.
- Gauze. Gauze can be used to help stop bleeding in the event that dental damage occurs.
- Small container with a lid. In the event that a permanent tooth is knocked out and cannot be reinserted, it's important to have a clean container to store the tooth in en route to the emergency dentist. When placing a tooth in the container, remember to avoid touching the root as this may make reinsertion more difficult.
- Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can help manage temporary pain from dental damage. It's important to note that aspirin is not a suitable substitute in dental emergencies because it is an anticoagulant which may cause excessive bleeding.