School is back in session and with it comes Fall sports as well as sport-related dental injuries for some. If your child is planning on participating in some team or extreme sports, here are some things to keep in mind regarding avoiding and treating dental injuries:
If your child is enrolled in a team sport that involves a ball or puck, martial arts, or extreme sports, then preventing dental injury is key. This can be done by buying a retail mouth guard or getting fitted for a custom guard by your dentist. Talk to your child about the importance of wearing their mouth guard and make wearing it a habit, just like part of their sports uniform.
Types if injuries:
There are four types of dental injuries:
- Chipped or fractured teeth, the severity depending on if it chipped or fractured the enamel, dentin, or root.
- Knocked out tooth
- Displaced tooth, where a tooth is moved from its normal position, making it challenging to bite or chew.
- Trauma to primary (baby) teeth, where a baby tooth is chipped, displaced, or knocked out.
What to do in case of injury:
If your child does sustain a dental injury, protocol differs based on the severity of injury. If the secondary (adult) or primary (baby) tooth is knocked out or displaced, contact your dental professional at once, especially if there is bleeding or swelling present. If your tooth is knocked out, be sure to collect it by only touching the white, shiny part (not the root) and contact your dentist immediately. Your dental professional will help evaluate the status of your injury and best options.
While Fall sports are set up for fun, safety is an important component. Mouth guards are the best way to prevent dental sports injury so be sure to make it part of your child’s sports uniform. If a dental sports injury occurs, seek immediate assistance by your dental professional to ensure the safety of your child’s tooth and mouth.