Ask any child what their favorite time of year is, and the answer is almost always going to be summer. Being out of school, hanging out with their friends, swimming and playing outside are what all kids dream of during the school year. And while the summer season can be a great time for children, it can also present some hazards--particularly for a child's teeth. If your child experiences a dental emergency over the summer, call Drs. James and Samuel Owens at 918.455.7700.
It wouldn't be summer without lots of swimming, bike riding, volleyball and other playground activities. And while these are great fun, they can unfortunately result in a dental injury. Parents can be prepared by following these tips:
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose. Make sure your kids know and understand the importance of “pool rules”.
If your children are going to be participating in recreational activity, such as baseball, soccer or lacrosse it is very important that you protect their teeth with mouth guards. Sports are great for physical exercise but can be dangerous. Foul balls, elbows and collisions happen all the time and if your child's teeth are not protected with a strong mouth guard he could easily have a tooth knocked out. Even if the sport seems easy on the physical activity, wearing a mouth guard is good practice and will greatly reduce the chance of tooth damage.
While not accidental related, there is another summer oral danger….sweets. During the summer your child will have no shortage of tempting treats. The ice cream truck, picnics, birthday parties and lazy days will all have your child craving a popsicle, soft drink, cookies or candy. But as we all know, sugar is the number one cause of cavities and the more sugar your children eat, the more likely they are to develop cavities. Monitor the amount of sweets your children eat during the summer and put a cap on excessive sugar consumption by suggesting delicious and healthy alternatives. Our recommendation is to stock up on these alternative snacks ahead of time!
Know what to do yourself if there is an injury to the mouth. Getting to the dentist right away is so important. There are also things you can do to help. If your child loses a permanent tooth, immediately replant the tooth back in the socket (careful not to touch the root). If you are unable to do this and the child is old enough, have them hold the tooth in between their tooth and cheek. If this is not possible place the tooth in Hank's Balanced Salt Solution. If you do not have this readily available place the tooth in a cup of milk.
Pack an emergency dental care kit to take along for vacation. Essentials for this kit, are a handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist's contact information.
Summer can really throw your routine for a loop. But by following these oral health tips for summer, your kids can start the school year with great oral hygiene.