Sports and Dental Injuries
If you or your children participate in sports, getting to know your family dentist is critically important. Sports injuries can occur anytime, and dental injuries are always a concern. Knowing whom to call in such a case is necessary, before something happens. Speak with your family dentist before you sign up for your next sports team or event and find out what he or she recommends to protect your teeth and mouth.
Common Sports Dental Injuries
There are two main types of dental injuries involved with sports. The first involves your jaw. By contact or trauma, your jaw could be broken, fractured, or otherwise hurt.
The other common dental injury includes your teeth. When injured, teeth could be pushed up into the gums, moved within the gum, chipped, or broken. They could also be knocked out partially or entirely.
How to Prevent Dental Injuries in Sports
Most dental injuries in sports seem to occur in contact sports, such as football or boxing, as you expect contact with another person. And in the wrong place or unprotected, an injury could occur. For this reason, mouthguards and other safety equipment are indispensable and should always be used.
However, these types of dental injuries can occur in any sport, including non-contact sports. You may accidentally come in contact with other participants or equipment such as a ball, bat, racket, etc. You could also fall and hit the ground or structures. In any intense or physical situation in sports, an injury could occur. The best way to prevent injury is to wear a mouthguard.
Depending on the sport, you may also need a helmet or other protection to guard your jaw.
Types of Mouthguards
There are basically three levels of mouthguard types, ranging in customization. The first type is the least customized. It’s an off-the-shelf, stock mouthguard that you can buy at the store. It may be quick and easy, but it may not fit well, since it’s one-size-fits-all.
The second type is called “boil and bite.” The name describes the customization process of this type. You can buy these off the shelf, then boil the product and bite down on it to “mold” it to your teeth and mouth. Then as it cools, it stays in this shape and every time you use it, it fits around your teeth perfectly.
The third option is to speak with your family dentist and have a mouthguard uniquely designed. This is the most customized option and therefore fits your mouth the best. Because it fits so well, it can offer the best protection.
What to Do If an Injury Occurs
If the injury occurs during working hours at your family dentist, call them to find out what you should do. If you have to go to the emergency room or an urgent care center, make sure to follow up with your family dentist. Your dentist can help you make long-term decisions to keep your mouth healthy, strong, and vibrant.
If a tooth has been knocked out, you need to seek dental or medical assistance immediately. If possible, call your dentist to receive instructions for how to transport the tooth to best ensure that it can be saved. If you can easily place the tooth back in the socket, do so. If not, you can transport the tooth in milk. Do not touch the root of the tooth while transporting.
Dental sports injuries are real issues in any sport. Before you participate, make sure you have your family dentist’s number easily available. If you would like to speak with us about mouthguards or preventing injuries, give us a call or contact us to make an appointment.