Children are playful, and nearly 50% of them will experience some injury during childhood. Mouth injuries are the most common injuries among children, especially toddlers and babies learning to walk.
Mostly, mouth injuries happen from a fall, fight, or injuries or biting on hard items such as nails. While possible, it’s very rare for a child to develop any serious complications. If it happens, serious injuries can have long-lasting effects on the child’s appearance, function, and self-confidence.
Getting your child the proper treatment on time is the best way to protect their oral health and prevent long-term complications. Besides, knowing how to administer the appropriate first aid for oral trauma gives your child the best chance of recovering quickly.
Numerous factors can cause dental injuries among children. Falls, fights, and sports injuries are the most common. Oral injuries can also occur from car or bike accidents, burns, or when a child bites or pushes a hard or sharp object in the mouth.
Common oral injuries to watch out for include cuts and scratches on the mouth’s inner tissue, such as the gums, tongue, lips, and inner cheeks. Dental injuries such as chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth are also common. Your child’s oral injuries include mouth pain, chewing pain, swelling, bleeding, and difficulty eating or speaking.
Dental injuries can expose your child to cavities, decay, and oral infections. Therefore, it’s essential to have your child checked out by a healthcare provider. The treatment for your child’s dental injuries will depend on the child’s age, type of injury, and location of the injured tooth. Common treatments include teeth bonding, dental veneers, crowns, and extraction.
Even if the injured tooth isn’t painful or looks healthy, it’s still essential to take them to a dentist for treatment. Specific injuries to the teeth can require follow-up dental care, depending on the complexity of the injury and the child’s age. The treatment can take anywhere from weeks to years.
If your child’s primary tooth has broken, you should immediately take it to a pediatric dentist near you to determine whether nerves or blood vessels are damaged. The dentist will likely leave the tooth in place and repair it with a tooth-colored resin bonding material.
If a child’s permanent tooth breaks, prompt treatment is essential to save it. You may be experiencing pain, bleeding, or sensitivity to cold or hot items. If there are tooth fragments, rinse them and store them in a glass of milk. You can repair the tooth with a composite resin filling material.
Dislocation of the primary teeth is a common injury among children. In most cases, the dentist will leave the tooth in place to heal naturally. However, if the tooth is interfering with your child’s bite or there’s a risk of the tooth falling out and the child swallowing it, the dentist may recommend removing it. If the primary tooth falls out, it shouldn’t go back into the socket as it can affect the development of the following permanent tooth.
If your child’s permanent tooth knocks out, you should immediately take them to the dental clinic, ideally within one hour. There’s a chance of saving the tooth by placing it back in the socket. In the meantime, rinse the tooth and save it in a glass of cold milk or a child’s saliva. The chance of saving the tooth reduces the longer the tooth hasn’t been reattached.
Commonly, minor injuries to the cheeks, gums, lips, or tongue should heal naturally without any stitches. Large cuts may require stitches and follow-up care with a dentist. If the child has pain, you can apply an ice pack to the area or consult your dentist for pain medication. The dentist might also prescribe some antibiotics to prevent infections for large cuts and children with serious underlying issues such as heart infections.
Ensure your child:
For more information about dental care and treatment for mouth injuries among children, visit our pediatric dentist near you at Sunny Smiles.