As every parent knows, children are prone to accidents, and dental injuries in kids are no exception.
Back in the day, many teeth were lost to sports accidents. Failing to catch a baseball, taking a soccer ball to the face, crashing on a bike, or roughhousing gone wrong are all common reasons for dental injuries in kids. Now we can add smartphones to that list.
We use smartphones today for everything from taking selfies to watching videos and playing games. The popularity of smartphones in our daily life has led to a new type of dental injury: phone falling on face trauma.
Smartphones and Dental injuries in Kids
While a simple yet embarrassing incident, dropping a phone on your face while lying down is becoming a common self-inflicted dental injury. Laugh all you want, but the implications are a bit more serious, especially for kids.
Smartphone dental injuries in kids impact them more than dental injuries in adults. This is because children are still developing physically, leaving them with less handiness than those who are older. This causes them to drop their phones more often, and to receive more injury when it does happen.
Smartphone dental injuries actually vary by age, according to an article in Dental Traumatology. This list from Dr. Bicuspid.com outlines how the risks are different for younger children compared to those who are almost teenagers.
- Children ages 2-5 are vulnerable due to the soft nature of their facial structures and the pliability of their jaw areas, suggesting less force is needed to cause severe injuries.
- Children ages 2-6 are at risk for loosening teeth, shifting them from their usual positions, or bruising their lips.
- Children ages 6 – 12 who use smartphones to message, video chat, or post on social media are at the highest risk of lip bruising, tooth loosening, and related injuries.
- Those older than 12 who use phones to take selfies are at risk for tooth injuries and lip bruises.
What to Do If Your Kids Gets a Dental Injury
Do you know what to do when your child has a toothache or knocks out a tooth? Here are a few things to keep in mind in case of a dental emergency.
Familiarize yourself with common injuries – Toothaches, tooth displacement and tooth avulsion (knocked out tooth) are all common dental injuries. Some require immediate medical attention while others may not be as serious. Learn the difference, and make sure you know how to treat common scenarios. When in doubt, ask your dentist for advice.
Have your dentist on speed dial – Keep your dentist in your contacts and make sure to learn their hours. Do they have an emergency phone number? Time to find out! Click here to find one in your area.
Create a backup plan – Is your primary dentist not available after business hours? Make sure you know a dentist who is. Are they on the other side of town? Our online provider search can help you locate one that’s nearest to you. Knowing where to go in an emergency situation will help you remain calm and focused.
Know your coverage – Not all plans were created equal, so it’s important for you to know how emergency coverage works with your plan. Contact us or login to your member portal to look into the details.
Remember: Not all injuries can be avoided, but some dental traumas can be prevented with routine care, a touch of information, and proper mouthguard use.