As your child grows, it is normal for them to experience minor bumps and bruises. No matter if they are learning to walk, playing their favorite sport, or they simply fall off their bike during an afternoon ride, accidents and injuries are a part of growing up. However, should your child experience a serious dental accident, Dr. Bowman and his team are here to provide the necessary emergency dentistry for kids in Wash Park. But wouldn’t it be nice to avoid these types of injuries from the start? If you would like to learn what you can do to better protect your child’s teeth and gums from serious harm, review the following information below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
From the moment your child’s first tooth erupts, harmful plaque and acid will attempt to break down the tooth enamel and cause cavities. This is why we suggest implementing a proper oral hygiene routine even while your child is still an infant. By starting at an early age, you can help your child develop positive oral habits that will carry with them well into adolescence and adulthood. As parents, you will need to brush their teeth for them, especially those hard-to-reach areas (premolars and molars). Because of their minimal dexterity, it can be difficult for them to clean these areas. If neglected, plaque and harmful acids can burrow into the pits and grooves of these teeth, causing cavities to form. But as your child grows, you will need to continue monitoring and guiding their oral habits to ensure they are effectively brushing and flossing all surfaces both in the morning and at night.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends all youth to wear a mouthguard while participating in organized sports. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) estimated that without a proper mouthguard, a child is 60 times more likely to experience a sports-related injury.
According to the AAPD’s policy prevention of sports-related orofacial injuries, which was compiled using multiple references and resources from professional dental and sports-related organizations, the AAPD strongly encourages “mandating the use of properly-fitted mouthguards in other organized sporting activities that carry a risk of orofacial injury.”
If your child enjoys playing sports, it’s important that you equip them with the best protection possible. By asking your child’s pediatric dentist in Wash Park about a custom mouthguard, you can ensure their teeth and gums are better protected against broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth as well as soft tissue lacerations.
While it’s not uncommon for children to crave sweets and fruit juices, the truth is that these products contain dangerous amounts of sugar and acid, both of which can eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities as well as increase their risk for childhood diabetes. Also, allowing your child to eat hard, crunchy foods places additional pressure on their teeth, which can potentially cause breaks, fractures, or chips in their tooth enamel.
To avoid a trip to the emergency dentist, make sure your child is drinking plenty of water and/or milk and eating healthier foods like vegetables, fruits, cheese, and protein.
As an adult, you may not realize that using your teeth to open a package or container can be dangerous for your smile. Should your child see you doing this, they may be tempted to do the same. Teeth are not meant to perform the same tasks as traditional tools. They are designed for eating and chewing purposes only. Excessive wear and tear can lead to a break down of the tooth enamel, resulting in serious dental emergencies in the future. Should you see your child attempting to open a package with their teeth, stop them immediately, and use scissors to complete the task.