Preventing Dental Emergencies with Mouthguards
Are you watching the World Cup? You may have noticed that we’re all avid soccer fans here at Blue Hills Dental!
Even if you’re not a big fútbol follower, if you and your children play a lot of sports and other outdoor activities, you’re at risk for accidents that can damage your teeth. Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports, but the majority of these dental injuries are preventable. Studies show that athletes who wear mouthguards are up to up to 60% less likely to sustain mouth injuries than those who don’t.
The American Dental Association, California Dental Association and the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety recommend wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, hockey (field or ice), football, gymnastics, handball, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.
Sadly, most American children don’t wear mouthguards despite these recommendations. While the cost for a custom sportsguard or mouthguard may seem daunting at first, the cost to repair a fractured tooth is many times greater. Stock mouthguards purchased at sports stores are a low cost option, but they provide only a low level of protection, if any.
Contact our offices today to ask about our custom sportsguards and other mouthguards. We offer both clear sportsguards as well as ones in different colors so you can proudly wear your team’s colors.
What to do in the event of a Dental Emergency
If you or your child do sustain head or face trauma, check first for signs of a severe head injury. If any of the following symptoms are present, get medical attention first and worry about any teeth injuries afterwards:
- Sleepy or drowsiness
- Abnormal behavior
- Severe headache or stiff neck
- Pupils (the dark central part of the eye) of unequal sizes
- Inability to move an arm or leg
- Loss of consciousness, even briefly
- Vomiting more than once
Once any serious medical issues have been ruled out, here are some tips on what to do about any damaged teeth:
- If a tooth is broken, find the fragment and go straight to the dentist, especially if the tooth is bleeding from the middle and not just the gums.
- If a tooth has been knocked out and if it’s been less than 30 minutes since the injury, place it in saliva (or milk) and go straight to the dentist. Be sure to avoid touching the root of the tooth, and do NOT try to clean it.
- If you are not near the dentist and tooth is knocked out, you can try to place it back in – the gum site may be numb immediately following an injury, so this shouldn’t hurt. If the tooth can be placed back in the mouth within 30 minutes, the chance for a full recovery increases though is not guaranteed. Be sure to see the dentist as soon as possible.
- If a tooth has been dislocated, make sure you or your child sees a dentist immediately.
Call our Continuing Care Team at (888) 365-6531, and one of our agents will happily assist you in making an appointment.