Studies show that children with poor oral health are 3 times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. However, dentists are now fearing that kids with good oral health will be missing school due to something completely different.
With the holidays in full swing, many families are heading out of town on holiday vacations. Some of them are even headed to more tropical venues where they can get their swimsuits out and spend time at the pool. For children, things like running around, riding bikes and scooters, and in the case of the holidays, sledding are all popular activities over winter vacations. However, these activities may actually be harmful to one’s dental health.
Nine-year-old Elanor Hall was on vacation with her family and decided to climb up a water slide at the resort they were staying at. She slipped and fell and ended up smashing her face on the slide. Elanor actually snapped her front tooth in half as a result of the fall. Elanor spoke with Gold Coast Bulletin about the incident.
“I just slipped and knocked my face, and I didn’t realize I had snapped my tooth until my friend told me. I couldn’t believe it,” Elanor said.
The girl ran to her mother to show her what had happened. Her mother was shocked, and also very concerned.
“I was laying by the pool and she came up to me crying with blood running down her face, I thought she had bumped her nose,” her mother, Julia Clare said. “Then I saw half her tooth missing and I was devastated. She’s got perfect teeth so I think my reaction scared her even more.”
Elanor’s mother immediately took her to the dentist, worried that she might have serious, permanent damage. Luckily, Elanor’s tooth was able to be fixed and she won’t have to worry about people seeing her cracked smile.
Dr. Michael Chong, of the Paediatric Dental Practice in Australia, says that he sees a lot of kids with vacation dental injuries. Their damages have ranged from minor to severe, and parents often struggle to find a pediatric dentist in an unknown location.
“We are bracing for the peak season of dental trauma among children of all ages, because people are out and about more, swimming in their pools and visiting watermarks,” Chong said. “We have seen a big increase in the number of accidents occurring with large, inflatable pool toys compared to a few years ago, with several cases of kids slipping or falling off and knocking their teeth.”
Chong warns children to be extremely careful while doing rigorous activities during their holiday, whether that be diving into a pool at a tropical resort or sledding down the hill at grandma’s house. He urges parents and kids alike to be especially cautious as they slide down water slides, ride bikes, and ride scooters, all of which he claims to be major culprits of oral dental damage.