Safety Tips to Prevent Dental Emergencies During Spring Sports

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With warmer weather comes the exciting anticipation of spring sports. Not to mention, April is National Facial Protection Month with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Dental Association (ADA). A mouth guard should be an essential piece of athletic gear for almost any sport. While a fall while cycling or a hard tackle during a football game is an expected part of sports, an injury to the jawbone or mouth can damage teeth and even lead to tooth loss. Adults and kids participating in sporting events must take the necessary precautions to prevent sports-related injuries and avoid an unwanted trip to an emergency dentist. The dental experts at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County want to share some helpful safety information about what to do if you need emergency dental care in State College, PA.

How can I protect my teeth?

Accidents can happen during any type of physical activity or sporting event. It is essential to take the necessary precautions to not only protect your body but also to protect permanent teeth by wearing a helmet and mouth guard to prevent an unwanted trip to an emergency room or emergency dental care. Safety tips to keep your mouth and body healthy are:

  • Wear all mandatory protective gear
  • Don't forget a helmet when necessary
  • Wear a protective face shield to prevent facial damage, especially with hockey or football
  • Wear a mouth guard, even if it is not required

Use of mouth guard

Have you thought about what would happen if you or your child lost one or two front teeth? While it could make for a great story, an injury to the mouth or damage to permanent teeth doesn't only impact appearance; it can also affect the ability to chew, speak, and have self-confidence. Luckily, you can protect your teeth while participating in a sporting event by wearing protective mouth gear. A mouth guard is one of the most important investments you can make to avoid a broken or chipped tooth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.

Unfortunately, a mouth guard is not always promoted as mandatory protective gear when playing every sport. However, the most common causes of facial injuries to the mouth area occur during bicycling, or while playing basketball or soccer. Our team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County wants to help State College, PA men and women get excited about wearing a mouth guard and protecting their mouths. There are generally three types of mouth guards:

  • Stock mouth protectors are the most affordable and can be bought at a sporting goods store.
  • Boil and bite mouth protectors can also be purchased at a sporting goods store and offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors.
  • Custom-fitted mouth guards are individually designed and made by our dental team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County. They provide the most protection and comfort.

What to do with a knocked-out tooth?

When a permanent tooth is knocked out, it is a dental emergency. A lost tooth can be saved by acting quickly, within 30 minutes, and seeking emergency dental care. If your child loses a tooth, you should try to re-implant it. However, if your child gets a baby tooth knocked out, don't try to re-insert it, and immediately contact your dentist. When a permanent tooth gets knocked out, you should do the following:

  • Find the tooth immediately
  • If soiled, rinse it off with water
  • Hold the tooth by the top surface, not the roots, if they are still intact
  • Place it back into the socket (only if a permanent tooth)
  • Gently bite down on a paper towel or soft item to hold it into place
  • Seek emergency dental care, and if the tooth can't be put back into the socket, place it in a glass of milk to protect the tooth from further damage

Dental emergencies can happen – but knowing how to handle it when it occurs is critical. Even if a minor injury to the mouth or jawbone area occurs during a sporting event, it is a good idea to contact your dentist and have them check it out. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, our dental team is available for any type of dental emergency. Even if our office is closed, listen carefully to our instructions on what to do next if you or your child has suffered a dental injury. If you need emergency dental care in State College, PA, contact our office right away.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.