Although sports injuries are common for those who are active, having a tooth knocked out can wipe the smile right off one’s face! All it takes is one wrong swing of a bat or a stray elbow to change one’s smile forever. Here are some tips to follow for the most common sports-related mouth injuries:
-Chips or broken teeth: These kinds of injuries may be painful. Visit your dentist and they can help you ease your pain and restore your tooth to its normal look and shape.
-Knocked Out Tooth: This is a dental emergency that must be taken care of immediately. If you can locate the tooth quickly it is best to do so. When lifting the tooth from the ground pick it up by the crown of the tooth that sits inside of the mouth. DO NOT touch the roots (the part of the tooth that sits inside the gum tissue) or scrub away any dirt (you can end up removing crucial tissue fragments)! Re- implanting the tooth as soon as possible will give you the greatest chance of salvaging the lost tooth. You should insert the tooth making sure it is the right way and let your dentists make the necessary adjustments. If you can’t put it back in don’t force it! Place the tooth in a container with milk to help preserve it until you get to a dentist.
-Swimming and your Teeth: Even water sports can affect one’s oral health! Pools that have high chlorine content can cause tooth enamel erosion, so make sure you brush and rinse after your swim to protect those teeth. And if you want to take a refreshing dip, consider the beach. Ocean water is much better for your teeth and the high salt content can actually reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
-Hazardous Hydration: Popular sports drinks that many believe to be healthy are actually terrible for your mouth. The acidity and sugar content promotes bacterial growth and tooth decay.
A sports-related injury like the chipped tooth in the photo on the left above can be prevented by wearing your mouth guard while you play sports, but if your teeth do get injured, a dentist can restore your smile to its previous state.
There are also several things one can do to prevent sport trauma:
-Invest in a mouth guard: By wearing a mouth guard you are protecting your teeth, cheeks, lips and gums. The risk of getting a tooth knocked out or getting a fracture greatly decreases. A custom-made mouth guard made by your dentist can provide you with much better protection than an over-the-counter alternative from sporting goods stores, but stock athletic mouth guards are better than no protection at all. Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C. can make you a mouth guard right on the premises.
-Drink Water: Avoid the sports drink propaganda – water is the best source to quench your thirst and it has no calories!
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