The weather is warmer, the sun is shining and your summer is filled with weekend getaways, outdoor athletics, camping adventures, and relaxing staycation days at home. With all the fun and sun also comes the potential for an injury. While summer-time injuries may bring to mind sprained ankles, scraped knees, or even broken bones, mouth-related emergencies are also issues to watch out for.
Even though anyone can sustain a summer dental injury, children often have an increased likelihood of an emergency or similar issue. With a calendar of warm-weather events on your agenda, take a look at the activities that put your child's mouth at risk.
The Swimming Pool
A day at the neighborhood swimming pool isn't always something that parents equate with a dental emergency. As your child paddles through the water, swimming the day away, they aren't necessarily at risk for dental damage. However, that doesn't mean mouth injuries can't happen.
Swimming into the concrete edge of the pool, falling on a diving board, or tripping on the pool's rough deck surface are all accidents that can easily result in a chipped or broken tooth. In some cases, the impact from hitting a slippery concrete pool surface can knock the child's tooth out completely. If this happens, then knowing how to deal with the dental emergency is absolutely essential.
If the tooth (or part of the tooth) is in sight, pick up by the crown. Some lifeguard stations may have special "save a tooth" containers to use. If your lifeguard doesn't have one of these, put the tooth in a cup. Keep the tooth wet, using water. Avoid adding chemical-filled pool water.
Call the dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. Your child will need a professional to repair the damage.
While you can use ice cubes any time of the year, it's more likely that you'll add them to your child's summer-time drink. If left alone to chill (and melt in) a drink, then ice cubes typically don't present much of a dental dilemma. Some dental patients (especially adults) experience sensitivity to the extreme cold. Even if your child doesn't have cold sensitivities, ice can still cause issues.
A child who bites or chews on an ice cube is at risk for a cracked or chipped tooth. If your child likes to chew on their ice, then place the drink and ice in a cup with a tight lid. The ice cubes will be too large to make it past a straw or Sippy cup spout to cause your child problems.
Running up and down a climber, swinging on the playground's swings, and going down slides can all put your child's mouth at risk. Most modern playgrounds are covered in shock-absorbing ground cover, such as foam mats or a thick layer of mulch. While it's not impossible for your child to hurt their teeth falling on the ground, the padded surface can lower the chances of injury.
Even though a fall on the playground's spongy mat-covered surface might not cause a problem, metal posts, metal stairs, metal railings and hard plastic pieces (includes permanent toys and slides) can easily cause a chipped or cracked tooth if your child trips and falls. Likewise, the posts that hold up the swing set can also pose an injury risk — that is, if your child falls or jumps off of the swing.
If your child does fall or in some way injures their mouth on the playground, then follow the same steps as you would for a pool incident. Save the tooth, call the dentist and get your child help as soon as possible.
Do you need a new dentist to help keep your child's mouth healthy? Contact our team at Greenville Center for Sedation Dentistry for more information.