Lessen the Impact of Dental Emergencies With These Tips

childrens emergency dentistA dental emergency can having lasting consequences for your child’s smile if you don’t act promptly to address the situation. Your first step should be scheduling an appointment with a children’s emergency dentist for any necessary professional treatment. However, there are also a few things that you can do at home to manage a dental emergency until your child can be seen by a dentist.

If your child loses a permanent tooth, you can try to gently re-insert it into the socket. If you are unsuccessful, you can store the tooth in dental preservation media or even a container of milk or water until your child’s appointment with the children’s emergency dentist.

It is not as important to save a baby tooth, although the children’s emergency dentist may recommend replacing a missing baby tooth or use some sort of spacing appliance in order to limit the effect of premature tooth loss on the development of your child’s smile. If any permanent teeth erupt too early (or too late, for that matter), it can throw off the alignment of the entire smile.

Soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations, should also be treated in emergency situations. You can use a cold compress to reduce any swelling associated with the injury, although persistent bleeding will need to be addressed more immediately, such as at an emergency room or urgent care center. If your child is complaining of pain, appropriate doses of over-the-counter painkillers can help to manage this symptom.

Like persistent bleeding, apparent facial fractures are more urgent matters and need more immediate attention. You should get initial care for your child at a local emergency room and then follow up with your regular dentist for any additional treatment that may be necessary to correct the injury.

Dental emergencies don’t need to have enduring effects on your child’s smile. Contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for your child to be treated, and be prepared to manage the situation temporarily on your own if need be. Call our office to ask any questions you may have about this type of dental treatment.

Most Common Causes of Chipped and Broken Teeth

childrens emergency dentistA chipped or broken tooth is not a fun experience for anyone – especially a child. When it comes to a kid’s dental care, our practice offers everything from routine preventive services to same-day appointments for emergency care. Our children’s emergency dentist provides gentle treatment for those suffering with chipped and broken teeth. Following are some of the most common causes of broken teeth.

Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is the mineralized outer layer of teeth. It is made of strong minerals so that it can protect the softer structures inside a tooth from harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Because tooth enamel is so strong, it can help prevent chipped and broken teeth, too. While enamel is very strong, it is susceptible to damage when exposed to acid on a repeated basis. Acid will strip away the mineral content of enamel, which softens it and makes it weak. Over time, enamel loss can expose the underlying structure of teeth (dentin) to cavity-causing oral bacteria. Weakened tooth enamel leaves teeth vulnerable to decay, chipping, cracking, and breaking.

Facial Trauma

One of the most common ways that teeth become broken or chipped is by traumatic facial injuries. A facial injury can occur as a result of a car wreck, accidental fall, or blunt force trauma from contact sports. Blunt force to the face can lead to dislodged teeth as well as broken and chipped teeth. It is important to schedule an appointment with our children’s emergency dentist as soon as possible since facial trauma requires immediate professional attention.

Tooth Decay

In addition to enamel loss and facial trauma, untreated tooth decay is a common cause behind a child developing chipped or broken teeth. Tooth decay not only signifies that a portion of a tooth is weakened, it also means that a cavity has formed a depression in the tooth, leaving sensitive internal structures exposed. Teeth with untreated tooth decay can fracture and chip – especially when eating hard or crisp foods.

For more information about preventive care or emergency services, call our kid’s dental practice today at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry.

My Child’s Filling Fell Out: What should I do?

childrens emergency dentistA filling is a wonderful restoration that can prevent the progression of a cavity. Tooth decay is a common health problem for children. In fact, cavities are considered an infectious disease. The bacteria responsible for dental caries are orally transmitted. Since cavities are widespread among children, fillings are a common treatment protocol for protecting teeth and preventing complications like infections associated with decay. If a filling falls out, however, it needs to be treated as soon as possible. We encourage you to call our practice to schedule an appointment with our children’s emergency dentist. The sooner you call, the sooner our team can make room for your child in our schedule for treatment. In most instances, a filling falling out is not a dire emergency but it should be treated quickly as the previously decayed (and weakened) structure of a tooth is exposed to oral bacteria and debris.

What to Do until Your Child’s Appointment

While you wait for your appointment, it is important to determine if your child is experiencing discomfort. Tooth pain sometimes accompanies a loose or dislodged filling because a sensitive, unprotected part of the tooth is exposed to temperate foods and drinks, bacteria, and other irritants. Moreover, decay could have formed near the filling and eventually underneath it. If your child is in pain, you can give them over-the-counter pain medication as directed. You can also apply temporary dental cement (available at most pharmacies) until you visit our practice to protect the tooth before treatment. Be sure that your child continues brushing and flossing. When brushing over the affected site, your child should be very gentle.

Responding to Dental Emergencies

The best thing you can do when it comes to responding to dental emergencies is keep our office’s contact information handy – especially if an accident strikes when you are not at home. We encourage all our patients to keep our business cards in their work desks and vehicles. You should also store our office number in your mobile phone. This way, you can reach us quickly if you have questions or require immediate treatment.

If you have questions or require treatment, call our office to reserve an appointment with our children’s emergency dentist today!

 

Tips for Toothaches

childrens emergency dentistThere are many reasons you or your child may be experiencing a toothache. A morsel of food may be caught between teeth (this is where daily flossing comes in very handy); gum irritation; a tooth may be impacted; dental decay may be present; or your child may be suffering from one or more teeth erupting. Very often there is an easy solution, but for more serious issues a visit with your children’s emergency dentist may be in order.

For erupting teeth, there are oral applications that can ease discomfort when placed on gum tissue where teeth are coming in. A medication free option is to freeze a teether designed for this problem … letting your child chew on this offers comfort.

You and your children should be flossing daily. This should remove food debris that may be caught. But more importantly this daily action also helps keep plaque from building. Teaching your child to floss is important, and letting them watch you floss teaches them how to floss as well as sets a great example.

Erupting teeth is something everyone experiences; but an impacted tooth often occurs when there is insufficient space for a tooth to come in. This is very common for wisdom teeth but can affect other teeth as well resulting in overcrowding and pushing teeth outward or inward. In either case, the occlusion is affected.

Dental decay is a primary cause for a toothache. There are a couple of tools your family dentist  can offer such as fluoride treatments to strengthen dental enamel; and for teeth that have not already experienced a cavity, there are dental sealants. Sealants are painted on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth providing a barrier where dental decay often starts.

Dental emergencies arising from a toothache can be traumatic for the patient and family members. This is why children should begin seeing their dentist around the age of twelve months. Not only is the child examined at this early appointment for assurance that all is proceeding normally with their oral health, but regular visits allow the child to become acclimated with the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. This makes needed visits less intimidating.

Emergencies can occur for many reasons, but to help limit visits with the children’s emergency dentist encourage daily brushing, flossing, and make sure your child sees their family dentist every six months.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

Steps to Prevent Common Dental Emergencies

childrens emergency dentistWhile some dental emergencies are not preventable, there are proactive steps a family can take to minimize their risk for developing issues that require immediate attention. Our practice helps children develop a solid foundation of good oral health to help prevent common problems like tooth decay, weak teeth, and gum disease. In the event of an accident or painful toothache, our children’s emergency dentist provides prompt and gentle treatment. Following is some helpful information on preventing common dental emergencies.

Keep Regular Dental Appointments

Keeping regular dental appointments for your child is essential to monitoring the health of the entire oral cavity as well as catching potential concerns or problems as soon as possible. Having bi-annual cleanings and checkups gives our children’s emergency dentist a chance to see if teeth are healthy and strong. Many times, with physical examinations and diagnostics like X-rays, we can see if teeth are vulnerable to decay or injury long before they show visible signs of weakness. When teeth appear to be at risk for damage, there are preventive treatments available to help strengthen them.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to visiting our practice frequently, establishing an oral hygiene routine at home is another way to prevent the development of issues that can lead to dental disease and injury. Brushing and flossing teeth regularly keeps harmful substances from weakening the enamel structure of teeth along with controlling harmful oral bacteria that weaken the oral health system. Good oral hygiene is paramount to preventing the development of tooth decay, which when left untreated, can cause painful toothaches. Cavities, especially deep ones, require professional treatment like restorations and endodontic therapy.

Wear Protective Oral Appliances When Necessary

If your child plays contact sports like football and wrestling or participates in activities like skateboarding, wearing appropriate protective gear such as mouth guards and chinstraps can help prevent traumatic injuries to the teeth, gums, and face. For instance, wearing a mouthguard can prevent teeth from becoming chipped or knocked out during sports.

If you have a dental emergency or if it is time for a checkup, call our practice today!

Common Causes and Symptoms of Toothache

childrens emergency dentistToothaches can affect people of any age – including children. In fact, many of our younger patients visit our children’s emergency dentist for toothaches. The most common causes of toothaches include the formation of dental caries (tooth decay), infected root canals, and tooth sensitivity. The causes of toothache can vary in their severity and the ways by which they are treated. If your child is experiencing severe tooth pain, we recommend calling our practice as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

Dental Caries

Cavities affect up to 99% of the population. This is because dental caries are technically an infectious disease. The oral bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay are transmitted orally – normally from parents to their babies. Tooth decay typically does not produce noticeable symptoms in its early stages, however, if left untreated, the cavity will progress by widening and deepening into the tooth. As decay progresses, it can cause toothaches because more tooth structure – especially sensitive tissue – is exposed to bacteria and oral debris.

Infected Root Canals

An injured tooth or one that has gone untreated can ultimately lead to an infection within the root canal. The root canal is a chamber-like area deep within the tooth that contains nerve endings and cellular material called dental pulp. A severely injured tooth or one that has deep decay can expose the root canal to infection-causing bacteria. Fortunately, a tooth with an infected root canal can be saved by performing endodontic therapy. Endodontics involves cleaning out the root canal and removing its infected contents through a same-day procedure. Sometimes the placement of a restoration is necessary after root canal therapy. After treatment, a patient can enjoy comfortable oral function and will no longer experience severe tooth pain.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a condition that can produce tooth pain, albeit for short and sporadic amounts of time. Sensitive teeth are caused by the dentin structure underneath teeth being exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages. Sensitivity to temperate foods and drinks can be related to recession of the gum line or thin/damaged tooth enamel.

Our children’s emergency dentist can provide prompt treatment and relief for toothaches as well as routine dental care such as checkups. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our caring team!

Harmful Dental Habits Your Child Should Avoid

childrens emergency dentistWhen babies start crawling, toddling, and even running we safeguard table corners and try to make all parts of the home a soft place for a baby to prevent injury. However, it is impossible to keep children safe from all potential dangers. What we can do is be aware that accidents may occur and be prepared to handle them, knowing how to reach your children’s emergency dentist in the event of one of these accidents could mean the difference between tooth loss and preserving your child’s dental health.

Your kid’s dental care is the responsibility of the caregivers that interact with your child every day. Posting and making available the contact information about your dental provider during office hours and when the office is closed is a great step toward preserving your child’s dental health.

Your guidance and supervision is a critical step in helping your child to maintain their oral health. Kids don’t think things through – biting their fingernails is just a way for them to pass the time while sitting in class or watching TV. But this habit presents the potential for chipping their teeth, and even altering their occlusion if continued.

Kids drink lots of cold drinks that contain ice. Dental enamel is very strong, but so is ice. Discouraging biting and chewing on ice by informing your child of the potential damage they could be doing might go further than just telling them not to do it!

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is a habit that often starts subconsciously during periods of sleep, and it is not restricted to stressed out adults. Kids feel stress and anxiety for many reasons such as school, peer pressure, their complexion, weight, their possessions (or lack of them), fashion … so many things are important to kids. Grinding can wear down dental enamel leading to broken teeth and dental decay.

Kids like to show off. So they might try to learn to do things that could damage their teeth like opening bottles or packages with their teeth.

Parents and caregivers can take proactive action through supervision, education, and example. Make sure children are brushing and flossing correctly daily, and make sure they see the dentist every six months for cleaning, polishing, and dental exam. Your children will reap the benefits of your efforts with great oral health for their lifetime.

Call our office today to set up an appointment with our caring team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry!

What protection does a custom mouthguard provide?

childrens emergency dentistWhen playing sports and engaging in physical activity, it is important for children to wear protective gear, such as mouthguards, to prevent traumatic dental injuries. As part of our pediatric dentistry services, our children’s emergency dentist offers custom mouthguards, which help protect teeth and soft oral tissue in the event of an accidental fall or facial trauma from contact sports.

Is a custom mouthguard better than a store bought one?

Store bought mouthguards are widely available at most athletic stores and even some supermarkets but they do not offer the protection that a custom mouthguard can provide. Even though some mouthguards purchased in a store can be boiled and slightly customized, they are often ill-fitting and do not adequately protect teeth and gums.

Custom mouthguards prescribed by our children’s emergency dentist are fabricated to fit perfectly in a patient’s mouth. A custom mouthguard will conform to each patient’s mouth because it is designed based on unique specifications determined by our team. This means that this oral appliance will properly cover the teeth, holding them in place in the event of trauma and protect against soft tissue lacerations.

When should my child wear a mouthguard?

Your child should wear a mouthguard during any type of contact sport including football, wrestling, and basketball. Non-contact sports or individual physical activities such as horseback riding or skateboarding can lead to dental injuries as well. A mouthguard is useful for any activity where the risk of injury to the face or mouth is possible.

How can I prepare for dental emergencies?

In addition to equipping children with protective gear, there are steps you can take to prepare for dental emergencies. First, we recommend keeping our pediatric dentistry practice number stored in your phone so that you can contact us quickly. Another precautionary tip you can take is to keep Save-A-Tooth solution (available at pharmacies and supermarkets) in your purse or vehicle. This solution is used to keep tooth structure alive that has been broken or knocked out of the mouth. In some instances, our dentist can reattach pieces of a broken tooth.

For more information or to reserve an appointment, call our practice today.

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth While Traveling or On the Go

childrens emergency dentist

Just because parents are busy or traveling doesn’t mean that kid’s dental health should go by the wayside. While our modern lives are hectic and even chaotic, practicing good oral hygiene and encouraging healthy habits is important even when families are away from the house. In addition to bringing along important items like floss, toothbrushes, and toothpaste wherever you go, parents should also keep the contact information of our children’s emergency dentist handy in the event of an accident or injury. Following are some helpful tips for keeping kid’s dental health in check even when families are on the road.

Kid’s Dental Care Tips

Our practice encourages parents and caregivers to keep extra oral hygiene supplies in their vehicles, purses, and luggage when away from home. If children are away from home for extended periods of time, it is important for them to have access to toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, if necessary. Having these items on hand when traveling will help parents ensure that their children are cleaning their teeth on a regular basis. When storing a toothbrush that has been used before, we recommend keeping it in a sanitary travel case that has holes in it. This will keep the bristles dry but prevent them from coming in contact with germs and harmful pathogens.

If parents and caregivers have a busy day of running errands or long commutes, it is a good idea to bring extra water and healthy snacks. Drinking water is an integral part of keeping the mouth clean, moist, and healthy. Moreover, having access to water and healthy snacks will prevent the likelihood of purchasing sugary items at convenience stores or fast food chains.

Emergency Dental Tips

In the event of an emergency, our patients should call our practice immediately so that we can make arrangements for your child in our schedule. In many cases, we can provide same-day treatment, if necessary. Keep our practice number stored in your mobile phone or write down our information and place it in your glove box, wallet, address book, or purse.

We provide an array of pediatric dental services. Call our family-friendly practice today to reserve an appointment.

Tooth Abscess: Symptoms and Treatment

childrens emergency dentistAn abscessed tooth is incredibly painful and dangerous to one’s oral health. It normally occurs on the root of a severely decayed tooth but can also form between the gums and teeth. This infection can even affect the health of the entire body. Both children and adults can develop an abscess. Treating an abscess involves seeking the care of a dental professional. Our children’s emergency dentists offer treatment for dental emergencies that include damaged teeth and severe infections.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

Most of the time, an abscessed tooth produces pain and discomfort. Some patients may describe it as a toothache. This discomfort can also flare up when chewing or consuming temperate foods and drinks. Some patients may experience a bitter taste in their mouths and have persistent bad breath. Other common symptoms include:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Tender or swollen jaws
  • Engorged neck glands
  • Fever
  • Sores on the gums that are open and draining

In some cases, discomfort related to an abscess can subside. This occurs when the abscess kills the cellular material inside a tooth. Unfortunately, the lack of pain does not mean that the condition has improved. Even if a tooth is dead, an infection can remain active and continue to destroy neighboring tissues.

Treating Abscessed Teeth

When diagnosing and treating an abscess, our children’s emergency dentists strive to alleviate discomfort and restore oral function. Common forms of treatment include root canal therapy, draining the abscess, or extracting the tooth if it cannot be saved. To manage the infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Treating an abscess in a timely manner is very important to protecting oral health structures. Foregoing treatment could lead to further complications.

Preventing Dental Infections

We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to schedule regular checkups and cleanings with our pediatric dentists so that children’s oral health can be monitored on a routine basis. Many times, catching and treating decay early on prevents the development of an abscess.

To schedule an appointment, call our family-friendly practice today!