Sports mouthguards are not only a good idea, but necessary. With more than 25 million youth playing sports every year, a serious maxillofacial injury is 10-20% likely and if a child is not wearing a mouthguard, there is a 60 percent chance they will sustain damage to their teeth. These injuries usually result in permanent damage and can be costly to fix.
Type of Injuries
Tooth Fracture – There might be bleeding and part of the tooth may fall out. Have you child bite on a towel or gauze to stem the flow of blood and collect any fragments. If you can, put the fragments in milk or under the athlete’s tongue within 45 minutes of the injury to keep them moist in an environment close to the original socket.
Tooth Extrusion – If the tooth is longer than other surrounding teeth, then it is probably extruded. This is caused by partial or total separation of the a periodontal ligament and loosens the tooth. Sometimes is may not be very noticeable, so be sure to listen to your child if the say their bite doesn’t feel right or a tooth hurts.
Tooth Knocked Out – The full tooth will be out of the socket and it is very important that you do not touch the root. Always hold it by the crown and if the root is dirty, gently rinse it with water. Otherwise, do not brush or scrub the tooth. If you can put it back into the socket, do so and have your child bite down gently on a towel. Otherwise, store in milk or under your child’s tongue.
Tooth Pushed Backwards or Forwards – Also known as lateral displacement, this injury is similar to an extrusion, but can be even more serious as it may also involve a fracture and may have been forced into the bone. The tooth might not be mobile, but if it is, please do not try to move it.
A mouthguard can go a long way to protecting the teeth and your pocketbook. We are happy to discuss them with you either at your child’s next appointment or give us a call to schedule a consult.
NOTE: If a youth suffers dental trauma due to sports, it is very important they see a dentist immediately. Keep our office number (818-368-6266) in your wallet and give us a call. If we can help, we will!