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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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Dental care tips for dental emergencies for children

Approximately 30% of children have experienced dental injuries. Injuries to the mouth include teeth that are: knocked out, fractured, forced out of position, pushed up, or loosened. Root fracture and dental bone fractures can also occur.

The peak period for trauma to the primary teeth is 18 to 40 months of age, because this is a time of increased mobility for the relatively uncoordinated toddler. Injuries to primary teeth usually result from falls and collisions as the child learns to walk and run.

With the permanent teeth: school-aged boys suffer trauma almost twice as frequently as girls. Sports accidents and fights are the most common cause of dental trauma in teenagers. The upper (maxillary) central incisors are the most commonly injured teeth. Maxillary teeth protruding more than 4 mm are two to three times as likely to suffer dental trauma than normally aligned teeth.

If your child falls and cuts his or her lip, use something cold, such as a Popsicle. Your child will be excited about a treat and it will reduce swelling at the same time. If the swelling is severe or the bleeding continues, see your dentist right away**

These tips can help you stay calm and deal directly with a dental emergency.

                 Source: American Dental Association.
                             ** AGD Dec 2001

Front tooth knocked out from not wearing a mouthguard       Stablization of reimplanted tooth

Falls are the most common cause of dental emergencies in children, and boys are injured three times more often than girls, according to a one-year study.

Nearly 60 percent of dental trauma seen during the study was caused by falls during play. The least common cause of injury to the mouth or teeth was motor vehicle accidents, which accounted for less than 2 percent. The children ranged in age from 15 months to 14 years, and males accounted for 75 percent of the visits.

Injuries tended to occur at home in the middle of the day. On average, the visit to the emergency room occurred five months after the fall or trauma.

In most cases, at least one tooth was fractured. The permanent upper front teeth were affected 80 percent of the time. About 40 percent of the children needed some form of endodontic (root-canal) treatment. Five percent had to have missing teeth replaced.

Dental Traumatology; August 2002; Nancy Volkers; InteliHealth News Service

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February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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