- Sports Dentistry
Sports dentistry includes the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and related oral diseases, as well as the sharing of information and equipment designed to help protect the teeth, mouth, jaw, and face of athletes of all ages.
Injuries to the teeth and mouth are common among athletes. It’s important to protect your smile while playing sports for aesthetics as well as your health.
“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”
Common dental injuries in sports include
Tooth Knocked Out:
- Time is the most important factor when trying to save a tooth, so get to your dentist as soon as possible. In general, there is a 30-minute window of opportunity to re-implant the tooth in the socket.
- Do not try to re-implant the tooth yourself.
- The best liquid to transport tooth in is cold milk. If milk is not available, use saliva (if possible), saline, or water if nothing else is available.
- Don’t let the tooth dry out and don’t wrap it in anything.
- Don’t touch the tooth root if you can avoid it.
- Primary teeth, often called “baby-teeth,” are generally not re-implanted.
- Save the fractured portion of your tooth if you can locate it, and store it in saliva or milk until you’re able to reach our office. Your dentist may be able to save the tooth by bonding the fractured portion back on to your tooth.
- Your dentist will likely use an X-ray of the tooth to determine the treatment necessary based on the severity of the injury.
- For a serious chip that exposes the pulp of the tooth, get to your dentist as soon as possible.
- If a tooth is chipped or cracked, sometimes the tooth can be fixed with just a filling or bonding alone.
- Sometimes, a tooth is cracked or chipped in a way that the nerve of the tooth is affected, and a more complicated treatment may be needed
- If a tooth is moved due to trauma, see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Do not try to move the tooth back on your own.
- For any mouth discomfort before you get to the dentist, apply ice
- One of the best and most convenient ways to prevent injury to your teeth and mouth while playing sports is to wear a mouthguard. There are several types of mouthguards to choose from, and your doctor can help you choose the best one for your particular needs.
Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries received by athletes. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting or wrestling, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that you wear a mouthguard
Taking Care of Your Mouthguard
- Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean.
- You should also know when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, and your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape.