Sports-related injuries can result in tooth trauma, but you can help avoid such unfortunate accidents by taking precautions beforehand.
Like a broken bone, a fractured tooth can be painful and require surgical intervention, so make every effort to protect your children’s teeth from damage while playing their favorite sport.
Invest in a Quality Mouthguard
First, make sure your child wears a mouthguard at all times during any and every sport. Soccer, basketball, baseball, football and more — they all require tooth protection, as flying balls or equipment and contact with other players pose a serious threat.
The National Youth Sports Safety Association says that those who participate in sports without wearing a mouthguard are 60 times more likely to suffer tooth trauma.
You can visit your family dentist and have a mouthguard fitted to your child’s teeth. You can also purchase mouthguards at sporting goods stores that can be boiled in hot water and molded to your child’s teeth, though these typically provide a lower-quality level of protection than a professionally fitted piece.
Always Wear Helmets
When children participate in a sport that requires helmet protection, make sure they follow the rules, even in practice. Helmets for many sports help protect the teeth as well as the head.
Require Facial Protection
Beyond only wearing a helmet, consider outfitting your children with a face mask as well, especially in sports like hockey and lacrosse. A mask can help prevent damage and possible tooth trauma resulting from a ball or puck hitting your child in the face.
Prepare for Response to Injury
Even proper use of protective gear can’t completely guarantee your children won’t suffer tooth trauma at some point. But you can find out ahead of time how to respond if a tooth is broken, fractured or falls out.
Make sure your children know the seriousness of the situation and understand that time is of the essence in order to preserve their tooth. Don’t pick up a missing tooth or any fractured pieces by their roots, only by the crown. Place it in a glass of milk or a cup of your child’s saliva and immediately drive to your local family dentist.
Even if the tooth is only chipped or loose, it is still vital to have a dentist examine the injury site. You could prevent infection and more extensive tooth issues by addressing any possible concerns immediately after they occur.
Make an appointment right now with the team at Oak Hills Dentistry if you have a concern about your child’s dental health, or if you’d like to find out more about how to prevent tooth trauma.