Is Your Child Having a Dental Emergency? Here’s What to Do

A tooth, dentist tool, and first aid kit, denoting a dental emergency.

A dental emergency can be a scary situation, but the good news is that most of them can be resolved with a visit to the dentist.

There are steps you can take before you arrive to ensure your child’s health and safety. If your child is experiencing a dental emergency right now, contact us immediately at (252) 291-4300.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

There are many different types of dental emergencies. The most common situations include:

  • Tooth is knocked out or becomes loose due to injury
  • Tooth is cracked or chipped
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Severe bleeding, especially after an injury
  • Tooth abscess
  • Oral/facial swelling

Minor toothaches, lost fillings, and food that gets stuck between teeth are not usually considered dental emergencies, so it’s safe to wait for an appointment in those situations. If you’re not sure if your child should see a dentist right away, go ahead and give us a call just to be safe.

What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency

The first thing you need to do in any emergency is call the dentist’s office. Dentists reserve time in their schedule to accommodate emergency situations. Explain in full detail what happened and what symptoms your child is experiencing so the office can refer you to the best care.

If the office is closed or the dentist is not available, call first thing the next morning. If it is a life-threatening situation, such as a serious cut or infection, or your child is having trouble breathing or swallowing, head to the hospital emergency room.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If it is a baby tooth, retrieve the tooth and keep it moist in a glass of milk until you can see the dentist. They may want to implant it. If it’s a permanent tooth, follow the same steps. Avoid touching the root. Get to the dentist as soon as possible, preferably within an hour of the accident occurring.

Cracked Tooth

If a tooth is cracked, rinse out the mouth with warm water. Place an ice pack or cold compress to the face to help reduce swelling. Then, get to the dentist right away.

Bleeding

If your child’s gum, tongue, or lip is bleeding, gently clean the area with water. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the dentist or emergency room as soon as possible.

Call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

When a dental emergency happens, try to remain calm, call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, and follow the steps listed above. Our office offers emergency dental services in Wilson, NC, to treat most conditions and help keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Back to School Tips: A Dentist’s Checklist

Girl in red glasses standing beside back-to-school chalkboard

After a summer spent relaxing on the beach, staying up late, and indulging in ice cream, it’s easy to overlook daily dental routines. Now that your child is back to school, it’s important to get back on track when it comes to their dental health. Here are a few things you can do before scheduling an appointment for a checkup at Wilson Pediatric Dental.

Dentist’s Back-to-School Checklist

Purchase a new toothbrush

With the new school year well underway, you might get your child a brand-new backpack, a stylish wardrobe, and a range of school supplies. But while you shop, you should also pick up a new toothbrush and a fresh case of dental floss for your child.

To keep their teeth healthy and strong throughout the school year, it’s important to promote a daily routine of brushing and flossing teeth. Ensure that your child brushes in the morning before hopping on the bus, and in the evening before bed. Explain to them the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and gums, and what could happen if they don’t regularly brush their teeth, including the development of cavities and gingivitis.

Pack the right snacks

Proper diet and healthy teeth and gums go hand-in-hand, so it’s also important that your child is eating well while they’re in school. Pack healthy snacks and lunches with raw vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain crackers for your child to bring to school.

Foods that are high in sugars, carbohydrates, and starches can contribute to the production of plaque acids that break down your child’s tooth enamel and cause decay and gum disease. Keep your child’s mouth healthy this school year by sending them to school with healthy foods to eat.

Protect their teeth

Back to school means your child is back to organized physical activities with their classmates, whether it’s for a recreational soccer game or everyday gym class. If your child already has sensitive teeth, has braces, or participates in contact sports, consider giving them a mouthguard to bring to school. A mouthguard can help protect your child’s teeth during physical activities to prevent their teeth from loosening, breaking, or getting knocked out (avulsed) completely.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments at Wilson Pediatric

The best way to ensure your child has a healthy mouth this school year is by scheduling a dentist appointment at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in Wilson, North Carolina. Our team of talented pediatric dentists will help your child feel comfortable while we treat their teeth and gums.

If you’re looking for teeth cleaning in Wilson for your child, call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300. Schedule your appointment today.

Early Orthodontic Care? Rocky Mount Pediatric Dentist Says Yes

child visits pediatric dentist for orthodontic evaluation

It’s well known that getting a teeth cleaning on a regular schedule is a great way to catch and prevent possible dental issues from occurring in the future. But at what age should your child have an orthodontic evaluation?

Read on to learn more about when your child should see an orthodontist.

When to Seek Orthodontic Care for Your Child

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, are procedures that many people view as something that’s done in the teenage years. While it’s true that most kids end up waiting until all of their secondary teeth have come in, performing preventive or corrective orthodontic care on children as young as 6 or 7 years old can have developmental benefits.

With interceptive orthodontics — another name for early orthodontic care — your pediatric dentist can make sure that your child’s permanent teeth are developing in the correct position.

Dr. Jasmine Elmore recommends having your child screened when his or her permanent teeth begin to emerge, usually around 6 years old. At this young age, the jaw and palate are still growing, making it the ideal time to correct anything that isn’t developing properly.

Early orthodontic care uses appliances, such as braces and palatal expanders, to make sure your child’s mouth has space for adult teeth. It can also help straighten crooked teeth, steer the growth of the palate or jaw, and correct any damage that stems from bad habits, including prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use.

We’re committed to ensuring the health and wellness of our young patients’ teeth. We understand that kids’ developing teeth have different needs than the teeth of adults. That’s why we monitor your child’s development to ensure his or her dental health is on the right track, and we’ll advise you when they need an orthodontic evaluation.

Pediatric Dentistry Near Rocky Mount, NC

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist near Rocky Mount, NC? Wilson Pediatric Dental will make your child’s visits for routine cleanings and preventative and corrective procedures as comfortable as possible thanks to our friendly staff and colorful exam rooms. Schedule an appointment online, or call our office today.

Emergency Dental Care at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

There are a number of ways your child can injure their mouth or damage their teeth. Whether it’s a sports injury or from biting down too hard on a piece of food, teeth can become cracked, dislodged, and broken. Plus, gums can bleed from lacerations and other damage. If these injuries are not treated immediately, they can sometimes lead to serious complications.

Wondering when your child might require emergency dental care? Read through our frequently asked questions (FAQ) below and seek assistance from Wilson Pediatric Dentistry if you’re in need of emergency dental care in Wilson, North Carolina.

FAQ: Does My Child Need Emergency Dental Care?

What do I do about a cracked or broken tooth?

Depending on the severity and the level of pain your child experiences, you can either call for an emergency appointment or schedule an appointment during normal business hours. Cracked or chipped teeth do not typically require emergency services, but if a large piece of the tooth is missing or the tooth is knocked out completely, you should seek immediate care.

Do not get rid of the tooth. Instead, store it in a container of milk or your child’s saliva until he or she can be seen by a dentist.

What if my child’s gums are bleeding?

Bleeding gums can arise for a number of reasons — especially while brushing or flossing the teeth. Gums bleed during the early stages of Gingivitis because of plaque buildup that causes receding and inflamed gums. Bleeding gums can also be due to a vitamin C or vitamin K deficiency.

These scenarios are not always emergencies but should be discussed with the dentist when you bring your child for their next appointment. Encourage your child to continue brushing and flossing, even if it does make the gums bleed.

What happens if my child has a toothache?

Toothaches can be tricky to diagnose without seeing a dentist. Causes range from a cavity to a serious infection. When chewing, biting, and even talking become painful for your child, contact a medical professional immediately.

Whether the pain is from grinding teeth or something more serious, it will likely not go away on its own. For instance, an abscess tooth can cause a tremendous amount of pain, resulting in swelling, inflamed gums, and even a fever. An abscess tooth is caused by tooth decay and can be treated by different options, including antibiotics and a root canal procedure.

Find Emergency Dental Services in Wilson, NC

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist near you that also offers emergency dental services? Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is conveniently located in Wilson — near Kenly and Rocky Mount. Schedule an appointment online today, or call our office.

Follow This Checklist When Choosing a Local Dentist

Dentist attends patient while dental assistant smiles at viewer

You might need to find a new dentist for any number of reasons. Maybe you’ve just moved to the area. Maybe you’re looking for a second opinion. Maybe your insurance policy has changed. Or maybe you’re a new patient in need of a cleaning.

If you’re looking for a dentist near you, make sure you keep the following tips in mind.

How to Choose Your Dentist

Cost and Insurance

When researching different dentists, your first consideration should be cost and insurance. Do they accept your insurance? Do they offer discounts to those without insurance?

Make sure to consider the varying costs of different appointments and whether or not your insurance covers them. For instance, your insurance may cover an annual dental cleaning, but not an appointment for a filling or oral surgery at that same office.

Before you commit, give your insurance provider or the dentist’s office a call to find out about insurance coverage or costs for appointments.

Convenience

When driving to your dentist appointment, do you really want to travel an hour outside of the city when a similar practice is closer? Consider the amount of time it takes to get to and from different offices, so you can fit appointments into your busy schedule.

You should also find out their hours of operation — can you fit in a quick cleaning after work or schedule an appointment for the weekend? To find a dentist’s business hours, check their website or call their office.

Qualifications and Services

Before you let someone poke around your mouth with metal instruments, you should find out if they’re qualified to do so. Ask your prospective dentist about their qualifications, certifications, or specialty, especially when looking to have more difficult oral surgeries and procedures performed.

Every dentist office is different, so one might offer more serious oral procedures while another may not. Save yourself the hassle of shuffling from one office to another to get a surgery done, and find a dentist that provides all of the oral care services you require.

Personality

You won’t know how you feel about a dentist until you meet them — call the office you’re considering and schedule a consultation. That way, you aren’t going in blind to an appointment that sounds good on paper. You want to make sure you’re entirely comfortable with the dentist you choose.

Visit Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Today

If you run through this checklist, you’ll have a clear path to choosing a dentist office near you.

For those in Wilson County, start your search at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, a local dentist serving children and adults in Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Kenly, NC. Schedule a consultation with our office today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Are Fluoride Treatments Important for Young Teeth?

little girl at a pediatric dentist getting fluoride treatment

At Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, fluoride treatments are a regular part of dental exams and cleanings. Most children receive anywhere from two to four treatments a year. Why? Because fluoride plays an important role in making sure your child’s teeth are strong and healthy all throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Keep reading to learn more.

The Importance of Fluoride for Your Kids

What Are Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water all around the world. It’s also used to fortify public drinking water and some foods and other beverages. But a fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office is a little different.

During a treatment, the dentist will paint a small amount of fluoride onto the child’s teeth. The fluoride will quickly harden in place, and any excess is usually brushed off later that day to ensure that almost none is swallowed by the child.

After the fluoride is applied, it becomes part of the tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, to help strengthen it. When combined with good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, fluoride does a great deal to support dental health.

The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is a safe, effective way to prevent tooth decay. Since kids tend to consume a lot of sugar, tooth enamel erodes over time and can eventually lead to cavities.

About 27.9% of all children aged two to five and 51.17% of all kids aged six to 11 will get a cavity during childhood. However, by strengthening the tooth enamel, fluoride can help prevent, slow down, and even reverse decay.

Even though baby teeth fall out, childhood cavities can still lead to problems in adulthood. One reason why is because tooth decay may cause the baby teeth to fall out too soon, leaving an empty gap. Neighboring teeth can begin to shift, moving into the empty spot and causing misalignment of incoming adult teeth.

With regular fluoride treatments, it’s possible to minimize cavities and ensure good oral health for today and tomorrow.

Schedule a Visit at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Today

Interested in learning more about fluoride treatments in Wilson, North Carolina? Visit Wilson Pediatric Dentistry for a consultation and meet our team.

With offices located in Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Kenly, North Carolina, our dentists are committed to instilling good oral health in kids all throughout the area. Schedule a cleaning for your child today.

Why You Should Schedule Regular Dental Checkups for Your Kids

With homework, play, and exploring to do, your kids don’t have a lot of time to think about taking care of their teeth. That’s where your local Wilson, North Carolina, pediatric dentist comes in. An experienced pediatric dentist can help your children navigate their dental development with healthy smiles.

Here are a few reasons why regular dental checkups are necessary for kids of any age.

Why You Should Schedule Regular Dental Checkups With Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

Baby Teeth Matter More Than You Think

Why bother taking care of baby teeth if they’re only going to fall out in a few years? We hear this question all the time at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Although baby teeth do eventually fall out, their health can play a large impact on the wellness of the incoming secondary teeth.

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If a child loses a primary tooth too early, either to decay or injury, the primary tooth may shift and come out in the wrong position.

Regular dental checkups can prevent the premature loss of primary teeth and mitigate the effects when it does happen.

Different Ages, Different Goals

To contrast the dental maintenance performed by most general dentists, pediatric dentists have unique goals for their young patients: prevention, development, and habit-building.

Prevention

A good pediatric dentist can prevent most dental issues and the stress and pain that comes with them. When we see your child for regular checkups, we can spot and diagnose the problems your child can’t notice themselves and suggest treatments or behaviors to keep them from worsening.

Development

Childhood is also the heaviest stage of dental change. Whether their first set of teeth are coming in or falling out to make room for permanent teeth, kids’ mouths are constantly developing. Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to monitor this development and intervene if necessary.

Habit-Building

Seeing a dentist regularly and often also helps children develop healthy dental habits. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Elmore help create dental plans that help kids get accustomed to tooth-healthy foods and home care. Even getting into the routine of seeing a dentist twice a year is setting important behaviors in place during the most formative years.

Schedule Your Child’s Checkup With Your Local Wilson Pediatric Dentist

Looking for an experienced pediatric dentist in Wilson for your child? Dr. Elmore and the team at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry have been keeping kids’ teeth looking and feeling their best for years. Schedule an appointment or contact us at (252) 291-4300.

Dentist-Approved Snacks Your Kids Will Love

girl eating apples out of a basket of fruit, a tooth healthy snack in wilson, nc

With the high levels of processed sugars in most pre-packaged kids’ foods, choosing quick snacks for your children can feel like a minefield. While some foods contribute to the growth of bacteria and plaque, others can actually protect dental health. But which treats are the best for teeth? Are there any healthy snacks that are easy to make and serve on the go?

Your dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, is here with some tips.

No Fuss, Tooth-Healthy Snack Ideas from Your Dentist in Wilson, NC

A general rule of thumb for picking healthy foods for yourself or your kids is sticking to whole foods and limiting processed foods. What’s the difference? Whole foods typically consist of just one ingredient. These include fresh fruits and veggies, meats, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products. Processed foods, like cookies, chips, or sodas are often high in sugar or fats.

Usually, whole foods are around the outside of the grocery store, while processed foods are up and down the aisles. Here are a few easy-to-prepare, tooth-healthy whole foods kids will love.

Apples

Not all sweet foods are bad for your teeth. Most fresh fruit can provide a sweet taste without risk of tooth decay. The dietary fiber in apples also helps stimulate saliva, which pairs with the fruit’s high water content to rinse off your teeth while you chew.

Yogurt

Yogurt, like most other dairy products, is rich in calcium and protein, which help to make teeth stronger. However, not all yogurts are created equal. Look for yogurts that are low in sugar and fat content. If you want to sweeten the yogurt yourself, you can always add fresh fruit.

Cheese

Cheese also contains calcium and protein, but it comes with its own unique benefits as well. Cheese has been shown to increase the pH level in your mouth, decreasing the acidity. Lower acidity levels means lower risks of decay.

Cheese sticks and cheese wheels make great on-the-go snacks that require no prep. Cheddar also pairs nicely with sliced red apples.

Oatmeal

Whole grains like yogurt, brown rice, and those found in whole-grain bread bring a lot of healthy fiber to your diet. However, whole grains also have the added bonus of fighting gum disease. Oatmeal is a great choice because it’s low-fat, filling, and an easy to prepare. You can also add fruit, like bananas, strawberries, or apples to oatmeal to make it more interesting.

Like yogurt, you need to watch out for sugar-added varieties. Stick to old-fashioned or steel rolled oats.

Celery

Celery is a dental superfood. High water levels? Check. Dietary fiber? Tons of it. Sugars? Almost none. Crunchy celery also massages your gums as you chew, improving their health. Other raw vegetables will also provide similar benefits.

Unfortunately, few kids appreciate the taste of raw celery. Just jazz it up with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or cream cheese and your kids won’t be able to get enough.

Want more healthy ideas for your kids? Your Wilson, North Carolina, dentist will be happy to discuss dental-friendly snacks at your child’s next checkup. Schedule your appointment or contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300

Ask Your Nearby Dentist: Is Mouthwash Safe for My Child?

child brushing her teeth to prepare for a dentist appointment near her

Although proper dental care is just as necessary for kids as it is for adults, your child’s routine won’t be exactly the same as yours. Children start with kid-safe toothpaste, brushes, floss, and eventually graduate to the adult versions. For this reason, you may have wondered about mouthwash. Is it safe for your child? When should they start using mouthwash? Fortunately, your nearby dentist is here with some answers.

Should Your Child Be Using Mouthwash? Your Nearby Dentist Explains

Mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath. Certain brands also wash away loose plaque and strengthen your teeth with fluoride. However, it isn’t right for every child.

Is Mouthwash Safe for My Child?

This largely depends on their age. Although fluoride mouthwash can be incredibly helpful in helping your child right cavities, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends waiting until they are about six years old to introduce it to their routine. This is because these younger kids may have a harder time not swallowing the mouthwash. Fluoride is perfectly safe in small amounts (it is found in most municipal water supplies,) but consuming too much of it at an early age can result in fluorosis or discoloration of the enamel.

Don’t worry about your child getting enough fluoride before they can use mouthwash. Fluoride treatment is a major part of general exams and cleaning when you take them to your nearby dentist.

Look For Kid-Friendly Mouthwash

Like most other dental care tools, there are plenty of child-friendly varieties of mouthwash you can choose from. These usually feature popular cartoon characters or superheroes and come in sweet flavors like bubblegum or berry.

The differences are more than just superficial. Mouthwashes that are geared towards kids omit potentially harmful ingredients found in the adult versions, like alcohol. Alcohol is useful for killing bacteria for adults but can hinder healthy growth and development for children.

Supervision and Safety

The best way to make sure your child is safely using mouthwash is to supervise them for the first few months. Demonstrate to them how to rinse and spit the first few times. Tell them that even though it tastes good, they shouldn’t drink it. Watch them closely to make sure they don’t swallow and let them know when they’ve done a good job.

When your child isn’t using it, the mouthwash should be kept out of reach. Why? With its bright colors and sweet flavors, it may remind them of their favorite sugary drink. This means they may be tempted to try to drink it when you aren’t looking, and even the safest mouthwash shouldn’t be swallowed.

Want More Info? Ask a Pediatric Dentist Near You?

Still unsure of whether your child is ready for mouthwash? You can always check with a pediatric dentist near you. Dr. Elmore of Wilson Pediatric Dentistry has years of experience helping tiny teeth shine and grow, and she is happy to help you create a dental plan for your child. Schedule your appointment or contact us at (252)-291-4300 to learn more.

How Can Dental Sealants Protect Your Children’s Teeth?

dentist applying dental selants to a child's teeth with a purple light

Teaching children to brush and floss efficiently enough to prevent cavities can be a challenge for even the most diligent parents. Factor in all the juice and other sweets children get their hands on and it’s no wonder over 40 percent of kids under 11 develop cavities on their baby teeth. 

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to protect children’s teeth from plaque, bacteria, and decay. Many parents today are turning to dental sealants for help.

How Dental Sealants Work

So how can dental sealants protect your children’s teeth?

A dental sealant is a very thin layer of plastic coating that is applied to the surfaces of teeth. They are most often used on the back teeth where most chewing takes place. The sealant fills the grooves and crevices of the teeth to form a protective shield over the enamel. This protective shield forms a barrier between food and the actual tooth, making it more difficult for sugar and other harmful substances to attack the tooth.

Applying Sealants

Applying dental sealants is not a difficult process. Your children’s teeth will first be cleaned and dried. Then an acid substance is placed on the teeth to provide the sealants something to bond with. After rinsing and drying the teeth again, the sealant is then “painted” onto the teeth with a brush where it then hardens.

Dental sealants are recommended during the cavity-prone ages of six to 14. Dental sealants can last for up to 10 years and will be inspected for wear and tear during regular checkups. Many insurance companies provide coverage for the cost of dental sealants for patients under 18 years of age.  

Where to Get Dental Sealants for Your Children

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is happy to provide dental sealants and other treatments for your child. We understand that visiting a dentist can be scary for a child and that’s why we’ve dedicated our practice to providing the best possible experience for young patients in a fun and comfortable environment. Our team has years of training and experience working with children, even ones who have had negative experiences at a dentist in the past.   

Schedule an appointment today for our Wooten Blvd location in Wilson, NC to help put a smile on your child’s face.