As a parent, you probably take your child to the park regularly or allow them to play on backyard structures daily without any worry. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Considering an estimated 200,000 children, 14 years of age and younger, suffer with injuries on the playground each year, educating yourself on possible dangers is smart.
Many of these injuries stem from children falling off monkey bars and swings or faulty equipment that may result in cuts, bruises, or even broken bones. In addition, a large portion of children will bang their mouth on an area of the playground, causing one or more teeth to dislodge from their mouth. If your child has lost a tooth on the playground, use this guide to safely store the tooth before heading to your dentist.
Apply Pressure at the Park
Your child's gums will most likely experience some light bleeding after losing the tooth. Of course, this can be traumatizing to your child and other children on the playground. Do not panic, but immediately apply pressure to the gums to stop the bleeding. Use gauze, tissue, or a piece of cloth from your clothing. Be sure your child gently bites down to stop the bleeding.
Call the Dentist Now
Saving your child's permanent tooth is possible, but you must get to their dentist quickly. It is important to contact your child's dentist to schedule an emergency appointment before leaving the playground. For the best chances of replanting your child's tooth, get to the dentist within 30 minutes.
Pain Relief on the Go
A dislodged tooth is not a life-threatening situation, but it can be uncomfortable and painful for your child after the accident. To help ease their pain on the way to the dentist, consider the following options"
- Ice Pack – Create an ice pack out of a cloth or plastic bag. Visit a nearby restaurant or convenience store to purchase ice. Instruct your child to hold the ice pack against the jaw nearest to where the accident occurred. The ice will numb the area to relieve pain, but also decrease any swelling in the gums.
- Ibuprofen – Many parents carry ibuprofen in their vehicles or handbag. If not, purchase from a convenience store for your child's pain relief. Read the directions on the label for proper dosage.
Handling the Tooth
Safe handling of the dislodged tooth is key to preventing infections. With clean hands, pick the tooth up by the crown only. If there is dirt or dust on the root after the accident, do not attempt to brush the debris off the roots.
Tooth Storage Solutions
The trip to your dentist's office may be a short one, but it is still important to store the dislodged tooth in a safe manner. Consider the following options:
- Your Child's Mouth – If your child's gums are no longer bleeding, place the tooth back into the socket and have your child gently bite down to ensure its secure. If the tooth appears dirty, use another storage solution.
- Milk – While difficult at the playground, storing the dislodged tooth in milk is a great option. Purchase milk at a nearby store and pour a small amount into a plastic bag. Place the tooth in the bag for transporting to the dentist.
- Cloth – When all else fails, rinse the tooth under the sink faucet for a second. Then, wrap in a clean cloth and place in your bag or a pocket.
These techniques do not guarantee successful replantation, but they can increase your child's chances of a smile restoration. While accidents do happen on the playground, they do not have to permanently affect your child's smile. For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Maplewood Dental Associates, PA.