Even if you've got your child decked out in protective gear for their sporting events, Murphy's law dictates that if something can go wrong, it will. So, before you go off to the sidelines during a sporting event, make a plan on what you will do if something goes wrong. Read on to learn how to help your child if they knock out or fracture their teeth.
How to Respond When Your Child Knocks Out a Tooth
If your child knocks out a permanent tooth, you'll need to make the parents, other players, and/or refs halt play so you can find it. Once you find the tooth, make sure you hold it by the crown. Don't try to scrub it since those healthy cells are needed for a successful reinsertion. If it is dirty, you can rinse it off with a slow stream of water.
If it's possible, try to reinsert the tooth back into the socket. If you feel like you have to force the tooth or you can't figure out which way it was facing, don't proceed. If the sporting event was near your home, you could swing by, pour a glass of milk, and keep the tooth in it. If you aren't close to home, have your child spit in a cup or container, and keep the tooth in there. Both milk and saliva have the right pH and cell pressure to keep the tooth's roots from drying out and dying. You'll want to head to an emergency dentist right away to see if he or she could reinsert the tooth.
How to Respond When Your Child Fractures a Tooth
If your child gets hit and fractures a tooth, you'll want to take him or her to the sidelines and rinse his or her mouth with water. The coach should have a first aid kit on hand with an ice pack. If a first aid kit isn't readily available, dip a cloth or jersey in cold water, wring it out, and have your child hold it to their face to reduce the swelling. Again, get to an emergency dentist right away.
How to Help Them Relieve Their Pain
If your child experiences pain from knocked-out teeth or fractures, he or she can take the proper dosage of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Do NOT give your child an aspirin. If there is a laceration or any bleeding, an aspirin acts as an anticoagulant, meaning the bleeding won't be able to form a clot and stop.
How to Help Your Child's Smile if Reinsertion Isn't Possible
You may be thinking that if your child's tooth isn't able to be reinserted, they could just get an implant. Not only is this a more expensive option, but it's also just not practical for kids. Since implants are inserted all the way into the jaw bone, your child wouldn't be a good candidate because his or her bones are still growing. However, if reinsertion or saving a fractured tooth isn't an option, your dentist can make your child an appliance with a false crown. These appliances often look like retainers, but with a false tooth attached to the wires. The good news is that this would just be a temporary fix. If your child has to undergo orthodontic treatment, the dentist can make sure that there is still room for a dental implant as your child gets older.
Ultimately, if you are prepared to handle these kinds of sports injuries and you get to the dentist right away, your child will fare much better. Make sure he or she always wears a mouth-guard to dissipate traumatic forces and protect teeth.