Smart Phones and Dental Injuries

Too much screen time can impact children in a myriad of ways from eye strain to potential for dental trauma and injury. According to a recent study published in Dental Traumatology, depending on screen and touchpad size, smart devices can weigh between a quarter to a half a pound. As children may lack the dexterity to hold the device for an extended time, especially if they are sleepy at bedtime, it can fall or be dropped onto their face or teeth, causing bruises, partially dislodged or displaced teeth, fractured crowns, and more. Study authors urge parents to limit smart device usage, especially in bed for this reason.

The authors outlined specific risks by age and how smart phone device injuries can affect children’s dental development:

• Children between the ages of 2 and 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 between the ages of 2 and 6 are at risk for loosening anterior teeth, shifting them from their usual positions or bruising their lips.
• Children between the ages of 6 and 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.
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