Trauma to the primary (kids) teeth is very common. In fact almost one in three kids will experience trauma by the age of six. For the primary teeth both buys and girls have the same risk of damaging their teeth. There are other factors however that can increase the risk that a child will experience tooth damage.
Children are most likely to experience trauma to the primary (baby) teeth between 2-4 years old.
The reasons a child might be more likely to experience dental trauma
- The first risk factor is when a child has teeth that are ‘pronounced’ or forward from the other teeth. These teeth are typically the front top incisors. The reason this increases trauma is because these teeth are likely to make contact if a child trips and falls
- If the lip cannot close completely around the teeth when the mouth closes this increases risk of injury (incompetent lips)
- A link has been made between an unstable living situation (multiple houses, hectic schedules and changing environment) and how likely a child is to experience damage to the primary teeth due to trauma
- Medical illnesses (such as Cerebral Palsy or any illness that results in seizures)
- Participating in sports can contribute – but for most contact sports there is pressure for children to wear protective mouth guards – which is greatly reducing the chance of trauma. Football and Hockey are high risk – but wearing mouth guards is strongly encouraged in these sports which decreases the number of injuries. Soccer and basketball are sports in which wearing protective custom sport mouth guards is rare.
Despite these reasons, the most common reason for dental trauma in children is simply tripping over and falling – especially in the age group 2-4 years of age.
Damage to kids teeth can result in discolouration, infection, pain, loss of tooth, or require a restoration (filling). it is important to get ALL injuries and knocks to the teeth checked by your dentist as soon as possible.