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How to Prevent a Dental Emergency – McKinney, TX

Taking Proactive Steps to Protect Young Smiles

Let’s be honest: Children can be super clumsy and are likely to experience some falls and bumps despite our best efforts to prevent such accidents. However, we can take steps to minimize their risk of experiencing a dental emergency at some point during childhood. As parents, you try to take all the right precautions but sometimes, things just happen. Fortunately, at Sprout Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Justin and Dr. Sage are pleased to offer emergency dentistry for kids in McKinney and can provide immediate assistance, when necessary. But wouldn’t it be nice to prevent it in the first place? Even with all the baby gates, safety locks, and other measures you put into place each day, allow us to provide a few additional recommendations that can help prevent some of the most common dental emergencies. If you need additional assistance or have questions, please contact our office.

Help Them Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

A group of children huddled together and showing off their healthy smiles

Depending on the age of your child, their manual dexterity when it comes to brushing and flossing their teeth is often in need of improvement. This is because they have yet to reach the age in which they are mature and able enough to clean the hard-to-reach areas, such as their molars, properly and effectively. As a result, their teeth can become prone to dental caries (cavities) and tooth decay. This is why, as parents, it is important that you start incorporating good oral habits at an early age. Nighttime brushing is especially important to make sure that their teeth don’t have any residual food that can contribute to the development of dental decay during that nightly 8-12 hours of sleep. Whether it is helping them brush and floss their teeth or supervising them during their morning and nighttime routines, making sure they are properly caring for their smile is crucial.

During their stages of development, children will go through phases which require different approaches to motivating or exciting them about brushing and flossing.

Keep Hard, Crunchy Foods Out of Sight

A little girl and her mother standing in front of the sink and brushing their teeth together

The typical kid loves candy of all types, but the hard candies such as lollipops can be especially harmful if they bite or chew them. While they may taste good, they can lead to chipped, broken teeth and a trip to see their pediatric dentist in McKinney. If you want their teeth to remain fully intact, it is best to minimize these types of treats, instruct them not bite or chew the hard candies, and watch your little one closely when they’re enjoying them so as to prevent potential damage. Also, never allow your child to chew on ice or inanimate objects. Teeth with existing fillings, restorations, or decay can be especially prone to fracture due to a frequent ice-chewing habit due to the hard forces and contraction of the tooth surface due to the temperature change caused by the ice. Their pearly whites are not meant to sustain this type of pressure, resulting in fractures and more serious damage to their primary teeth.

Protect Their Teeth with a Custom Mouthguard

A young girl wearing a plaid shirt and holding two large lollipops while she smiles

If your son or daughter enjoys playing sports, give yourself greater peace of mind by making sure they are wearing a mouthguard before they take to the court or field. Both multiplayer contact sports, as well as solo activities like biking or gymnastics, can wreak havoc on a child’s smile. Whether it is a hard-hitting tackle that results in a knocked-out tooth or a sudden fall off the balance beam that causes a busted lip and shifted tooth, a mouthguard can minimize the impact and keep their teeth and soft oral tissues from serious injury.

But mouthguards are not only for sports. They are also beneficial if your little one is prone to bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching). Mouthguards can also be utilized to address issues of sleep disordered breathing, early dental crowding, and growth and development issues during early stages of dentition. By talking to Dr. Justin or Dr. Sage about having a custom-made mouthguard created for your child, their teeth and jaw will be better protected while they sleep, alleviating any potential pain or wear and tear.

Never Let Your Child Use Their Teeth as Tools

A little boy wearing a yellow shirt and preparing to insert a blue mouthguard to protect his teeth

If you ever notice that your child is trying to open a package or container with their teeth, stop them immediately. This tip is not only important for children but also for adults. Teeth are designed to chew and tear through food, not objects. We’ve seen and dealt with emergencies from children opening anything from yogurt pouches to removing bottle caps with their teeth. Try your best to discourage these habits. Instead, make sure you can jump into action and use scissors or another appropriate tool to open the item for your child.

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