by Regina Ferguson, D.D.S.
During summer months kids are more prone to accidents like bumping teeth in a pool, falling off bikes/hover boards, etc. Here’s how you can act fast when common dental emergencies strike.
Knocked out baby tooth
In many cases a baby tooth coming out prematurely is not as bad as it seems. It is important to make sure bleeding is controlled. Fold a piece of gauze into fourths and ask the child to bite it to help keep bleeding at bay. Follow up with your dentist as soon as possible to ensure all parts of the baby tooth are gone.
Knocked out permanent tooth
This is an emergency, and you should try to get your child to the dentist as soon as possible. Try to reposition the tooth if possible and have the child bite on gauze. The root of the tooth needs to stay moist. If you are unable to reposition the tooth, bring it in with you and avoid touching the root. Place the tooth in a container of milk or saline solution or have your child hold it in their mouth against their cheek.
Examine the child’s mouth. Sometimes there may be food or other debris caught in between the teeth that may cause pain for the child. Assist the child with brushing and flossing to see if it helps with the pain. If not, notify the dentist for an exam.
Objects stuck in the tooth or mouth
Examine the child’s mouth and try to remove the object. If it is caught between teeth, gently use floss to dislodge it. Avoid sharp objects when attempting to remove it. Follow up with your child’s dentist as soon as possible.
About the Author: I’m Dr. Regina Ferguson, the dentist at Smiles of Arkansas Dental Center in Texarkana. I’m from the Houston area, grew up in Missouri City, Texas, and attended schools in Fort Bend Independent School District. I graduated from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) with a bachelor’s degree in biology. After undergrad, I taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade in Houston and Fort Bend. I then decided to pursue my dream of being a dentist. I attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., where I earned a doctor of dental surgery degree. I’ve been practicing since 2009. The field of dentistry has been so rewarding. I feel so blessed to be able to help people in pain and enjoy their smiles again. I work extremely hard to keep dental visits pleasant for people. I like talking them through procedures, answering questions and just letting them know that I genuinely care about their oral hygiene.