Adult teeth are the last pair we will have! So, keeping our gums and teeth in good health is very important. Habits such as clenching and grinding, can compromise the natural shape of a tooth. Talk to your dental provider if you have these habits, they may prescribe simple appliances that help prevent the loss of tooth structure – two most common appliances are mouth guards and night guards. For children with developmental and other disabilities, please read oral health information based on your child’s age.
Clenching and grinding are common involuntary reactions when we are put under physical or mental stress. If you are aware of this habit, be sure to talk to your dental provider about a mouth guard. Your dental provider may suggest customizing a mouth guard in-office for you, or they can share more information regarding other available products.
A night guard might be recommended if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep. Usually, a night-time grinder is unaware of this habit until it is pointed out by a dental professional and/or another. Your dental provider may suggest customizing a night guard in-office for you, or they can share more information regarding other available products.
Even with attempts to prevent injury, your child may still have instances where there is trauma to their mouth, either injuring their gums and/or possibly cracking/prematurely losing a tooth. If the gums begin to bleed from injury, hold a sterile wet gauze to their gums with steady pressure to stop the bleeding. Cover an icepack with a washcloth to hold to your child’s cheek to prevent severe swelling. Monitor your child’s health, be sure to keep an eye out for any pain, fever, and/or swelling of the gums. Once the situation is under control, call your dental provider for their professional opinion. They might request the child to come in for an examination.
Injured Adult Tooth
If an injury results in your adult (permanent tooth) falling off or chipping, you must act fast!
- Chipped or broken:
- Collect all pieces of the tooth
- Rinse the mouth with warm water
- Call a dental provider right away and ask for an emergency visit
- Permanent tooth knocked out:
- Bite down on sterile gauze to stop the bleeding
- Grab injured tooth by the crown (white, chewing surface of tooth)
- Place in a cup of milk or your own saliva. Do not place in tap water!Call a dental provider right away to schedule a visit