Dental Emergency 101

 Dr. Spaulding and Dr. Greenstadt have seen numerous baseball injuries this year.

Dr. Spaulding and Dr. Greenstadt have seen numerous baseball injuries this year.

Do you know what to do when your child suffers a dental injury? Many parents are often left in the dark when it comes to dental injuries. Some parents seek care only after they notice changes in the color of the teeth, while others seek care from friends, neighbors and coaches who have little experience with dental trauma. Unfortunately, most dental injuries are very time sensitive and waiting to seek care from a pediatric dentist can sometimes lead to further complications, including tooth loss.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the greatest incidence of dental trauma to the primary teeth (baby teeth) occurs between 2 and 3 years of age when motor coordination is developing. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 are most susceptible to sports-related dental injuries, which account for up to 39% of injuries in this age group.

So, what can you do to make sure your child is treated appropriately and in a timely matter? First, ask that your pediatric dentist discuss their dental trauma protocol with you at your child’s routine wellness visit. Most importantly, make sure they are available to you after hours. For example, our doctors provide emergency coverage 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. In the event your child is injured, get them to a safe place and follow these guidelines from the AAPD:

 This chart illustrates and simplifies the most common dental injuries children suffer and the steps parents and caregivers can take to minimize future complications.

This chart illustrates and simplifies the most common dental injuries children suffer and the steps parents and caregivers can take to minimize future complications.

Because many children will suffer a dental injury while playing their favorite sport, Drs. Greenstadt, Spaulding and Ariarad always stress the importance of mouth guards regardless of the sport. While "boil and bite" mouth guards will certainly help protect your child's beautiful smile, custom mouth guards are a great option as these are made to fit your child's mouth perfectly. Talk to your pediatric dentist about the steps you can take to protect your child.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, we are always here to help!