Sports dentistry is the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and related oral diseases, as well as the sharing of information and equipment designed to help protect the teeth, mouth, jaw, and face of athletes of all ages.
Injuries to the teeth and mouth are common among athletes. It’s important to protect your child’s smile if he or she plays sports, for aesthetic as well as health reasons.
Common Dental Injuries in Sports
Tooth knocked out:
- Time is the most important factor when trying to save a tooth, so get to me as soon as possible. In general, there is a 30-minute window of opportunity to re-implant a tooth in the socket.
- Do not try to re-implant the tooth yourself.
- The best liquid to transport a tooth in is cold milk. If milk is not available, use saliva (if possible), saline, or if nothing else is available, water.
- Don’t let the tooth dry out and don’t wrap it in anything.
- Don’t touch the tooth root if you can avoid it.
Tooth that is chipped or cracked:
- I will use an X-ray of the tooth to determine the treatment necessary.
- For a serious fracture that exposes the pulp of the tooth, come to me as soon as possible.
- If a tooth is chipped or cracked, sometimes it can be fixed with a filling or bonding alone.
- Sometimes a tooth is cracked or chipped in a way that affects the nerve of the tooth, and a more complicated treatment may be needed.
Tooth that is displaced:
- If a tooth is moved due to trauma, see me as soon as possible.
- Do not try to move the tooth back on your own.
- For any mouth discomfort before you get to me, apply ice.
One of the best ways to prevent injury to your child’s teeth and mouth while playing sports is to wear a mouthguard. There are several types of mouthguards to choose from, and I can help you choose the best one for your athlete’s particular needs.