How to Stop the Damage to Teeth in Sports
Playing sports and getting a tooth injury is rather common. Sports can get rough, and accidents can happen that can cause injuries to the mouth, jaw, and teeth. Sports injuries can occur to people of any age, which is why seeing your dentist to help get protection for you or your child's teeth is important to their future smile.
Frequency of Dental Injuries
Wearing protection while playing sports has saved many young people from potentially serious injuries to the face and mouth. Prior to the time when face and mouth protection became required, says MedicineNet, as many as 50 percent of all the injuries occurred to the face and mouth. Most tooth trauma also occurs to the front upper teeth.
Sports Injury Prevention
Preventing your child from getting a serious injury to the mouth, jaw, or teeth, can be aided by your dentist. A dental mouth guard can be specially prepared by the dentist to fit your young person's teeth to give them the extra protection needed.
A mouth guard is probably the most important piece of equipment your child needs to protect his or her teeth. It will reduce the likelihood of damage to the teeth, which can be very costly to repair or replace if one is knocked out.
Mouth guards made by a dentist are custom-fitting, which provides a better fit and makes them more comfortable to wear. The perfect fit also ensures that they will stay in place and not slip off when needed most.
Mouth Guards for Braces
Orthodontics is designed to help your child's teeth look beautiful. Sports injuries can damage braces, which can then poke into the gums or inner mouth or tongue. Naturally, you want to protect those teeth that you have already invested in. A special custom made orthodontic mouthguard can help protect the braces and teeth from sports accidents.
Mouth Guards and Insurance
Some insurance plans that teams or leagues have will only provide payment when a custom-made sports mouth guard is made by a dentist. It is also possible that teeth guards may need to be worn on the top and bottom teeth, depending on the sport. In wrestling, for instance, a wrestling mouthguard is required.
Why Custom Mouth Guards Are Better
Standardized mouth guards can be purchased at the store. Another type, boil-and-bite, can also be purchased which are apt to fit a little better – but not perfectly. Both of these options are certainly the less expensive way to go.
A custom-made mouth guard, even though more expensive, will provide better protection for the teeth. Being that they fit better, they will also be more comfortable.
Get Healthy Teeth
Tooth trauma is less likely to occur if your teeth and gums are in good health. When they are not, it will be much easier to knock a loose tooth out than it would be a healthy one. A broken tooth may also occur more easily if the enamel on the teeth has been weakened by eating or drinking a lot of acidic foods, including soda in particular. Using smokeless tobacco, or illegal drugs, will also enable a more serious dental injury to take place that might otherwise be avoided.
When Teeth Get Injured
When there is a tooth knocked out – either out of place or completely out of the mouth, it is very important to see a dentist as soon as possible. If at all possible, you should see a dentist within 30-minutes. Do not try to re-implant the tooth.
When picking up the tooth that has been knocked out, be sure not to pick it up by the root. Instead, pick it up by the crown, and rinse off any dirt that may be on it, but do not scrub it off. If possible, placing the tooth in cold milk is best – even if you cannot get to a dentist within a day. Saline water or plain water is good, too.
A chipped tooth may also be repaired if you get to a dentist rather quickly. In some cases, it can be cemented in place, or a bonding compound can repair it. A cracked tooth or fractured tooth needs to be looked at to determine whether or not it can be repaired. Sometimes a new crown may need to be added, which most likely also means a root canal.
If there is injury to the jaw, or a knocked out tooth, a dentist will also take a quick look at your neighboring teeth to determine if they have been damaged.
Advantages of Dental Mouth Guards
When your child or teen is involved in sports, there is an increased danger to the teeth. Injuries will happen, but a kids mouth guard or a youth football mouth guard will certainly help to reduce any sudden force applied to their jaw. Even better, though, is that it will help them retain their teeth and great smile, and it will save you a lot of money if teeth are lost without it.
If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can obtain a custom-fitted dental mouth guard for your child from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board certified Periodontist. For more information about sports mouth guards, or to set up an appointment, call his office today at 214-731-0123.