Children are energetic and adventurous, and therefore prone to receiving dental injuries. If your child has sustained an injury, Dr. Brent Porter and our team suggest that you follow these instructions to maintain control of the situation:

Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth
Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert it in its socket, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY!! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip, or Cheek
Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.

Toothache
Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible.

Broken Braces and Wires
If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Take the child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances that do not bother the child don’t usually require emergency attention.

Broken Tooth
Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary.

Possible Broken Jaw
If a fractured jaw is suspected, try to keep the jaws from moving by using a towel, tie, or handkerchief, then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold and pack a clean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. This may be repeated once; if bleeding persists, see a dentist.

Cold/Canker Sores
Many children occasionally suffer from “cold” or “canker” sores. Usually, over-the-counter preparations give relief. Because some serious diseases may begin as sores, it is important to have a dental evaluation if these sores persist

Please come see our pediatric dentist for more information about treating dental emergencies in Santa Cruz, California. You are welcome to call 831-459-9802 today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Health & Your Child’s Diet
Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating – especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack or sipping on a vanilla latte on your Santa Cruz commute. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health, free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.

Did you know…
that eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your child’s oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If your child must eat the mid-afternoon pie, have them reach for the toothbrush afterward. Better yet, swap the pie for a nutritious, sugar-free snack like string cheese or some baby carrots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my child’s eating habits to better their oral health?
Probably. But never start your child on a new diet without first consulting with your family physician. If your child is on a special diet, be sure to speak with your pediatric dentist about the types of foods your child should be eating that comply with their diet and optimize their oral health.

What types of changes will my Santa Cruz dentist recommend?
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, the ADA recommends drinking plenty of water each day and avoiding snacks between meals whenever possible. It is also important to consume nutritious foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits. Not only will this improve the health of your child’s teeth and gums, but it can help them develop strong, healthy bodies, too!

Are there any other habits my child should be adopting to improve their oral health?
Yes. Your child should be flossing daily and brushing twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Your child should also be visiting your Santa Cruz dentist at least twice per year for oral exams and professional dental cleanings.

Please contact the office of Brent J Porter DDS at 831-459-9802 if you have questions about diet and your child’s dental health in Santa Cruz, California. Our dentist and team would be happy to meet with you for more information!