Sports Safety: Tooth And Mouth Injuries, Avoiding Injuries

A few years ago, a dental newsletter published what seemed like an unusual story. A boy snagged his teeth on a basketball net while doing a slam-dunk.

A freakish accident? Not quite. After the article appeared, nearly 40 dentists wrote in with their own stories. They all told of would-be Michael Jordans who sacrificed their front teeth in pursuit of the perfect dunk.

In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.

About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.

Basic Protection

Even if a tooth has been knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can be repaired. Dentists use tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even “minor” injuries can cause serious and costly damage. If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities, protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year.

Depending on the sport, two types of protection are available:

  • Helmets — A helmet is a must for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly. It should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
  • Mouth guards — Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one (found in sporting-goods stores). That means it may protect your teeth better.

If a custom-fit mouth guard isn’t an option, try a “boil-and-bite” mouth guard. You can buy one in a sporting-goods store. You place the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), you bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn’t fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.

source: colgate.com website

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…

You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am

The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.

We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.

Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.




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