How parents can protect against cracked or broken teeth

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Remember when you chipped or lost a tooth as a kid? How can you keep the same thing from happening to your kids this summer?

It helps to know what to do ... and how to prevent dental problems.

First: your child comes home missing a tooth: Find the tooth and take the child and the tooth to the dentist ASAP, says Dr. Chas Jensen, DDS, at Rogue River Family Dental. Any tooth that is knocked out must be re-implanted within an hour.

If there's bleeding, rinse the mouth and apply pressure to the bleeding with a tissue or even a tea bag. Rinse the tooth in milk and keep it in milk until you get to the dentist.

There are various treatments for a cracked, chipped or broken tooth.

These treatments are needed for children who have their permanent teeth. For kids still with their baby teeth, just wait for the adult teeth to grow in. Re-implanting baby teeth is not necessary.

As for prevention, "mouth guards are one of the best things," says Jensen. "It sounds kind of strange to throw in a mouth guard when you’re going to play on your scooter or go rollerblading," he admits. But they are the best prevention.

And it's best to have your dentist to make one fitted to the child's mouth, though mouth guards are available at your pharmacy.

If you'd like to learn more about Rogue River Family Dental, click here.

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