1. Dental Emergencies
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Here are some tips if your child experiences a common dental emergency:
- For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your child’s cheek and gum, or in milk. Call your dentist right away.
- For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
- If your child bites his tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
- For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth.
Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may suck on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. Most children stop sucking by age 4. If your child continues to thumb suck that after the permanent teeth have come in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment and your child’s bite. The frequency, duration and intensity of a habit will determine whether or not dental problems may result.
Pacifiers should never be dipped in sugar, honey, juice or sweetened drinks; it can lead to tooth decay. Also a mother or caregiver should never put the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth,as the bacteria can be passed to the baby.
4. Space Maintainers
Space maintainers help hold space” for permanent teeth and are very important. Your child may need one if he or she loses a baby tooth prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. If a primary tooth is lost too early, adult teeth can erupt into the empty space instead of where they should be.
Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants. Ask your dentist if sealants will help your child.
Mouthguards can help protect your child from a dental emergency and should be worn whenever your child is participating in sports and recreational activities. Mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. Ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth protectors.
Malocclusion, or bad bite is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked or out of alignment, or the jaws don’t meet properly. This may become particularly noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, when a child’s permanent teeth are coming in. If not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums cleaned properly, increasing the risk for cavities.
Bad bites can also:
- Affect proper development of the jaws.
- Make the protruding teeth at risk for chips and fractures.
- Affect eating and speaking.
- Make some teeth more likely to wear abnormally or faster than those that are properly aligned
Dr. Meghan Dicks
Call us today to schedule your next appointment!
Trudent Family Dentistry | Fredericton | ( 506) 999-DENT (3368)
Gateway Dental Centre | Oromocto | (506) 357-2440
Dr. Dicks was born in Newfoundland and she moved to Fredericton in 1998 where she attended LHHS and UNB. Dr. Dicks graduated from UNB in 2007, excelling both academically and athletically. She was on the Dean’s list and received an Academic All Canadian award as a member of the UNB women’s hockey team. Dr. Dicks went on to Dalhousie University where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2012. Dr. Dicks was the recipient of a number of awards during her dental studies, including the prestigious award in her senior year as the “student with the greatest proficiency in Restorative Dentistry.”
Dr. Dicks has received training and certificates in implant dentistry along with nitrous oxide and oral sedation. She has a great compassion for her patients and aims to provide them with a calm, comfortable dental experience. Dr. Dicks loves working with people of all ages and has a passion for working on children.
In her spare time, Dr. Dicks enjoys spending time with her husband Pete and their baby boy Teddy. They enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle with friends and family. Dr. Dicks feels very lucky to continue her career in this beautiful city and is excited to begin seeing new patients.