CHILDHOOD IS A TIME of scraped knees and bumps and bruises as kids run around discovering the world. As pediatric dentists, we want to help parents minimize the risk of their kids getting preventable tooth injuries while they’re enjoying what childhood has to offer.
For babies and toddlers, the majority of tooth injuries happen from a slip in the bathtub. Keeping a close eye on them while they’re in the tub will help, as will a non-slip bath mat.
Playground equipment is a common cause of tooth injuries in older kids, including monkey bars, jungle gyms, and even swings. Make sure to talk about safety with the kids when they’re playing on this kind of equipment. Balls and frisbees are also a risk, so stress the importance of not aiming for each other’s heads when playing with them.
Even when we’re careful, accidents can still happen, so make an emergency plan. If a tooth gets knocked out and it wasn’t a baby tooth that was already loose, try to put it back in the socket and get to the dentist. Store it in a glass of milk if it won’t go back in.
We can also protect our kids’ teeth by keeping them healthy! Healthy teeth are less vulnerable to getting knocked out than teeth weakened by decay and gum disease.