Sports Injury in Massachusetts: How to prevent it and what to do if a tooth is knocked out

tooth-1015425According to Oviedo Premier Dental in Florida, some interesting dental facts include the reality that sports-related injuries account for approximately 5 million missing teeth per year.  In fact, a majority of tooth loss for people under the age of 35 is caused by athletic accidents.  Here in Massachusetts, the doctors at Riverwalk Dental can confirm this is the case.  From Salem New Hampshire to Andover Massachusetts, and from Boxford to Methuen, Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi have seen numerous young men and women who have suffered from injuries that have long term consequences to their smile.

What to do if your child has a tooth loosened knocked out:

According to the Massachusetts Dental  Society and our experience here in Lawrence MA, a parent or coach only has about a half hour to an hour to make a difference in the future for that tooth and smile.  First, do not touch the root of the tooth.  It is extremely important that the tooth be kept free of any foreign matter.  Also, do not use any abrasive action on the tooth, including brushing; simply rinsing it with water is sufficient if this needs to be done.

If at all possible, reset the tooth by biting down gently on a soft item like a towel or handkerchief.   If this is not possible, place the tooth in water, milk, or in some way that will keep the tooth from drying.  Finally, and obviously, get the child to the hospital or dental office as soon as possible.

How to prevent a tooth from being knocked out:

Of course, the obvious answer to this is to always wear a mouthguard.  Even in sports and activities that are not full Courtesy of wikimedia.orgcontact, injuries to teeth can still happen simply by falling or tripping on a hard surface.

Mouthguards should also be replaced frequently.  As a child bites down on the guard, particularly during intense play, the mouthguard will wear quickly.  Keeping a few on hand will ensure your child’s teeth stay protected.

Finally, According to Mouth Health, an American Dental Association website, it is also important to keep mouthguards clean and dry.  This will prevent hard, foreign matter from inadvertently damaging teeth as a child plays a sport.  Also, never keep a mouthguard in the sun or in a liquid, such neglect could cause the material to change and become less effective in protecting teeth.

In Massachusetts, we want to see all our children grow up with healthy, bright smiles.  Following this advice will help parents and their children enjoy their days at sporting events while protecting their teeth from long term injury.

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