It’s estimated that 80 percent of all dental injuries involve at least one of the front teeth. With warm weather and lots of spare time, summer is a prime time for playing sports. Then, when summer is over, school sports will be in full swing. Dr. James Fondriest, would like to offer some tips about how to protect your teeth while playing sports, as well as what to do in the event of an injury.
Prevent Mouth Injuries by Wearing a Helmet
Helmets might not be “cool,” but neither are missing teeth; and neither is brain damage. If the sport involves speed or impact, wear a helmet. That means you should wear a brain bucket when playing hockey, football, or lacrosse, or when riding a bicycle or skateboard. The helmet should fit and be sport-specific. Don’t wear a football helmet while wakeboarding.
Wear a Mouthguard
Mouthguards protect against an estimated 200,000 oral injuries every year. The best option is a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist, but a “boil and bite” from your favorite sporting goods store is better than nothing. Heat the mouthguard in a pot of boiling water, bite down on it, and mold it to your teeth. This will help protect your teeth, tongue and cheeks.
What To Do In an Emergency
Knocked-out Tooth—Pick up the tooth by the crown. Never touch the root. Rinse the tooth if necessary, but don’t remove any tissue. Try to gently place the tooth back in the socket. If it won’t fit, place the tooth in a container of milk, water with a pinch of salt, or a specially-designed product like Save-A-Tooth. See your dentist immediately. Teeth that are seen by a dentist within an hour have the best chance of being saved.
Broken Tooth—Collect and save any pieces. Rinse your mouth and any pieces with warm water. Use gauze to stop bleeding and a cold compress near the site of the broken tooth to reduce pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Schedule an Appointment
Summer is a good time for playing sports, but it’s also a good time to get your semi-annual dental cleaning and checkup out of the way. To schedule a consultation, call our Lake Forest dental office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago and the North Shore suburbs.