5 Ways Your Child Can Prevent Dental Emergencies

child 5 ways to prevent dental emergencies Hudsonville MI

Dental emergencies can be just as urgent and dangerous as other health emergencies. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until your child is experiencing a dental emergency to take action. With the help of our Hudsonville pediatric dentist, there are ways you can keep their smile healthy and practice prevention.

Here are 5 tips for at-home care so your child can avoid dental emergencies altogether.

1. Teach Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits will help them protect their smile throughout childhood and into adulthood. It’s one of the best things they can do to prevent dental emergencies.

What is good oral hygiene? Our definition, informed by recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA), includes three easy habits:

  1. Brushing teeth for two minutes, twice a day
  2. Flossing daily
  3. Getting a professional teeth cleaning every six months

Brushing and flossing get rid of plaque, which is a thin layer of bacteria that damages your teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Most plaque can be removed by these at-home habits, but any plaque that’s left behind can develop into tartar. This can only be removed by a dental professional.

That’s why we recommend that our patients get their teeth cleaned twice a year by our dental hygienists. Starting this routine in childhood will make it more likely to stick when your child is scheduling their own dentist appointments in adulthood.

Having a regular teeth cleaning also means our pediatric dentist will have the opportunity to check your child’s teeth biannually for any signs of trouble. That way, we can treat oral health problems before they become dental emergencies.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouth Rinse

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. It’s one of the easiest things you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine, and it helps fight cavities: win-win!

By using a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse, you’re giving your child’s teeth extra help in preventing serious oral health issues. Simply check the label the next time you’re buying toothpaste or mouth rinse for your child and make sure to choose one that contains fluoride.

You can also ask our dentist about fluoride application or sealants the next time you and your child are inside our Hudsonville pediatric dental office for an appointment.

3. Limit Sugar

Plaque forms naturally on teeth when you eat sugar or other carbohydrates. Unless plaque is brushed or flossed away, certain bacteria in your mouth will produce acids that over time, damage the enamel of your teeth. If not remedied, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

In short, this means that what your child eats and drinks matters for their oral health. Try to avoid buying your children overly sugary foods and drinks, and make sure they’re drinking enough water to stay hydrated.

4. Encourage Healthy Stress Management

Stress can have negative effects on health, but did you know it can also negatively affect oral health? If your child is stressed, they may resort to biting or chewing on hard things to let off steam, like pen caps or pencils. They may also clench or grind their teeth at night, leading to jaw pain. They might even find it hard to resist those sugary foods that can increase their risk for tooth decay.

“Stress” can seem like a problem for grown-ups, but children suffer from stress just like the rest of us. In fact, around 2 or 3 children out of 10 will experience bruxism (grinding or clenching) at night, often due to stress. By teaching your child healthy ways to manage their stress, you’ll help not just their mental health, but also their oral health.

5. Take Their Dental Pain Seriously

If your child is suffering from a toothache, don’t ignore it. Pain is one of our most trustworthy indicators that something isn’t right. Getting fast treatment can be the difference between needing a routine dental procedure and undergoing serious oral surgery.

Our Hudsonville emergency dentist has the skills necessary to act quickly during a dental emergency. We’ll work hard to give your child the best chance of regaining their oral health and preserving their smile.

Make an Appointment Today

Our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville, MI, can protect your child’s smile with preventive dentistry and treat dental emergencies fast when needed. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.