16 Apr Protecting Kids Teeth Against Sports Injuries
Participating in sports is a great way of improving fitness, focus, social skills and boosting confidence. Unfortunately, facial and oral injuries are common with most sports due to falls and collisions. These are not just painful but can also have long-term effects. While some of these injuries can be prevented, the impact of others can be minimized.
Common Dental Injuries
- Chipped or Cracked Teeth: A tooth can be broken or chipped when a child is hit in the face or mouth. But if the injury exposes pulp of the tooth or affects a nerve a more complicated treatment may be needed.
- Fractured Roots: This injury typically occurs when the blow is at an angle causing the tooth to crack at its root. The injury may not be visible initially but may be detected either when the root is infected, or the crack works its way up to the surface.
- Tooth Displaced: Sometimes a tooth can get pushed out of its place. In such cases, visit the dentist immediately. Do not try to relocate it to its original spot.
- Tooth knocked out of socket: If a tooth gets knocked out visit your child’s dentist as soon as possible. Occasionally a tooth may get knocked into the jawbone. This occurs more often with baby teeth than permanent ones.
How To Protect Against Dental Injuries
- Use proper safety equipment: The ADA recommends use of protective gear for kids/youth participating in organized sports such as basketball, bicycling, boxing, field or ice hockey, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling.
- Protective helmets: Helmets protect the head and offer additional protection for your child’s teeth in case they fall. Ensure that the helmet fits correctly and is worn properly.
- Face cage: Catchers in baseball, goalies in hockey, and football players are at a high risk of getting hit in the face with a ball or puck. At such positions, face cages protect kids against severe face and dental injuries.
- Mouth guard: These prevent chipped or broken teeth, and tooth loss. Although multiple kinds are available in the market you can also get mouth protectors customized for better protection and comfort.
- Strengthen teeth: Recommended ways on maintaining healthy and strong teeth include:
- Brushing and flossing at least twice a day
- Use of fluoride toothpastes
- Consuming food for healthy teeth and avoiding foods harmful to oral health
- Regular visits to pediatric dentist
What To Do When Dental Trauma Occurs
If your child’s tooth is broken or chipped, offer them some cold water or an ice cube to reduce pain and swelling. Collect all the broken pieces ensuring that none have been swallowed or stuck in the mouth. Have the child bite down on a clean piece of cloth or gauze if the area is bleeding. The dentist may be able to fix the tooth with filling or bonding.
A tooth that has been knocked out of place or come loose may be able to be repaired. Gently rinse any debris from the root of the tooth. Transport the tooth either in cold milk or saliva so it does not dry out on the way to the dentist. Avoid touching the root. Visit your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. If you have any questions about sports-related dental injuries or are searching for a pediatric dentist in the Allen, TX area, please call 972-727-0011 to make an appointment with Dr. Lisi or Dr. Alina at Kids Pediatric Dentistry.
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