5 Ways Your Child Can Prevent Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can be just as urgent and dangerous as other health emergencies. However, you don’t have to wait until your child is experiencing a dental emergency before taking action. while their smile is still healthy to prevent dental emergencies from happening in the first place:
- Learn good oral hygiene habits
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse
- Limit sugar
- Learn healthy ways to manage stress
- Take dental pain seriously
1. Learn 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 , includes three easy habits:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Getting your teeth professionally cleaned 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 brushing and flossing, but any plaque that’s left behind can develop into tartar, which 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 dentist will have the opportunity to check your child’s teeth twice a year 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
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. 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.
3. Limit Sugar
Plaque forms naturally on teeth when you eat sugar or other carbohydrates. Unless the plaque is brushed or flossed away, certain bacteria in your mouth will consume the plaque and produce acids that will damage the enamel of your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
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 so they stay hydrated.
4. Learn Healthy Ways to Manage Stress
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 clench or grind their teeth at night, leading to jaw pain. They may find it harder 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 two or three children out of 10 will 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 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 dentists have 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.
Prevent Dental Emergencies for Your Child
Our Hudsonville, MI, pediatric dentists can protect your child’s smile with preventative dentistry and treat dental emergencies fast. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039, or contact us online.