It is so important to follow the rules and keep in mind the dental first aid procedures that can help save your teeth when you dive into a swimming pool. This was reported by an organization of general dentists devoted to continuing dental education--the Academy of General Dentistry.
Swimming pool accidents are the number one cause of dental emergencies during summer. As Dr. E. Mac Edington, DDS, MAGD, immediate past president of the Academy of General Dentistry, stated, “Swimming underwater and quickly coming to the surface causes some children to hit the hard ledge, loosening the front tooth.” In addition to this, running on slippery, polished cement and ceramic pool surfaces sends many children headfirst into the ground, frequently causing chipped or displaced and loose teeth. “Diving into shallow waters and hitting the bottom pushes the tooth up and can fracture the whole bone,” stated Dr. Edington.
The clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, the “General Dentistry,” published a study which investigated seventy-two thousand adult emergency room patient visits; of those, 2, 895 visits were for the treatment of dental conditions, representing 3.8 percent of all the hospital emergency room visits.
Several first aid procedures should be done when an accident happens. These first aid steps for a tooth that has been either knocked loose or knocked out include pushing the tooth back into its original position when a tooth is displaced or loosened. Bite down so the tooth does not move, call the dentist, or visit the emergency room. The dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to the loose tooth.
It is proper to pick the tooth up by the crown and not by the root, for an incident of knocked out or avulsed tooth. Because handling the root may damage the cells needed for bone reattachment and hinder the replant. Do not let the tooth dry out if the tooth can not be replaced in its socket on site. You should place it in a container with a lid and use low-fat milk, saline solution or saliva. The longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely the tooth will be able to be saved so you should visit the dentist as soon as possible.
Dr. Edington stated that “Prevention is key, but accidents will happen. Prepare yourself for any dental emergency”. It is always best to pack an emergency dental care kit. This may include the following:
Dentist’s phone numbers, mobile and office
- Small container with a lid
- Saline solution (salt and water also works)
- Low-fat milk (if available)
- Ibuprofen (Use ibuprofen and not aspirin. Aspirin is an anti-coagulant that may cause excessive bleeding in a dental emergency.)