When A Dental Emergency Strikes
It’s almost summertime here in Jacksonville, TX, although you could be forgiven for thinking that summer actually started a few months ago. Gotta love that Texas sun.
And with summer right around the corner, that means plenty of opportunity to get outside, be active – and lose a tooth.
Hey, it happens; to kid and adults, every day. In fact, each year, about 5 million teeth are knocked out due to a sports-related injury. That’s a lot of teeth.
Tooth avulsion – the five-dollar technical term for getting a tooth knocked out – isn’t limited to just those so-called “contact” sports, like football or hockey or boxing. Sure, they’re among the most violent sports around, but they don’t have a monopoly on avulsion.
For instance, you could be a runner, a weightlifter, or even a figure skater. Any time you set your body in motion in a sporting context, there is always a chance that you (or, if you’re raising a clan of pee wee football players, your children) could suffer a devastating oral injury at a moment’s notice.
What then? Have you thought about? As a parent, I’m sure you’ve spent a good chunk of your time – as well as a good chunk of your gray hairs – worrying over how to keep your children happy, healthy, and safe.
So today, at the kickoff of the summer sporting season, I want to let you in on how to keep your child calm during a dental emergency.
5 Steps For Keeping Your Child Calm
When you are on your way to my Jacksonville, TX dentist’s office with a screaming child in tow, your responsibility as a parent extends to more than just keeping your hands on the 10-and-2: You have a powerful part to play in the treatment process, as well.
How so? Well, consider that, if your child arrives at my office a nervous wreck, it could take a considerable amount of time to calm them enough so that my team and I can perform the necessary restorative dentistry work. If they’re upset, fidgeting, and generally a nervous wreck, then the time it will take for us to get them to a calm state where they can be most receptive to treatment will wind up prolonging their pain – with potentially dire consequences.
So here are the top 5 tricks and tips that you, as a parent or guardian, can do to keep your child calm and ensure that restorative emergency treatment goes off without a hitch.
Answer Questions Vaguely – Children are naturally curious, whether they’re 5 or 15. In the aftermath of a painful oral injury, they’ll look to you for answers. Admit to yourself that you’re not a dentist, and avoid any gruesome details or horrified reactions to their injured condition. Otherwise, you’ll only be increasing their anxiety.
Set A Calm Example – The ancient Greeks had a word for keeping calm in the face of life’s trouble: Stoicism. While I’m not advocated that you refrain from showing any emotion at all, i am suggesting that you limit your emotional responses to those which don’t involve panicking, worrying, or other anxiety-inducing behaviors. Children take cues from their parents, so being a calm, cool, and collected role model in the midst of a dental emergency is an absolute must.
Place Confidence In The Dentist – Echoing step number 1, this step allows you to bypass any questions your injured child might have by directly placing their confidence in me, their Jacksonville dentist. Not only does it allow you to avoid saying the wrong, upsetting thing, but it puts me in the position of the answer to their pain which is exactly what I am!
Use Distraction Where Possible – In the case of younger children, this strategy might prove extremely effective. Playing their favorite song, or allowing them to watch their favorite movie on a tablet device (anything, really, to get their mind off of the pain, even for a moment) can have a profound, calming effect. And don’t hesitate to bring that into my office if it means they will remain as cool as cucumbers.
Schedule An Appointment BEFORE Disaster Strikes – I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” right? In this case, it means bringing your family to see before an oral injury so that I can have their case files on hand and ready to assist me in the event of an emergency. That way, things will go much smoother.