As summer starts in full effect this month, many of our families will flock outside to play sports and other activities. At Lori Lemire Family Dentistry, we often notice an uptick in patients with cracked, chipped, knocked out, or broken teeth as a result of increased outdoor activity. Many of these injuries occur when children are playing sports and falling into things. The good news is that many oral injuries are preventable, and even if an accident occurs, we have some helpful hints to protect your teeth.
For Smaller Children
Children of all ages tend to be more prone to bumping into things and injuring their teeth. Toddlers learning to walk are very susceptible to accidents that can injure their teeth. One of the best ways to avoid this is to proactively baby-proof your house to make sure objects that could be damaging to your child’s teeth are covered or softened. A good trick is to get down to their eyesight level and look for any objects that could be dangerous to run into.
Importance of Mouth Guards
Older children who are getting their permanent teeth in often damage them by playing sports or falling in an outdoor activity like skateboarding or even roughhousing. Teeth in the front are the most likely to get injured, and if you know that your child is going to be involved in high-impact sports like basketball or football or even activities like gymnastics, then a mouth guard is a must to protect their teeth. A good dentist can recommend the right kind of mouth guard, usually one that has been fitted properly, which will help limit any dental injuries when playing sports.
What To Do If You Injure Your Teeth
If you do lose an adult tooth, here are some great points to remember until you can get to a dental professional like Coos Bay dentist Dr. Lori Lemire.
- For a broken-off part of your tooth, put the broken piece in a small glass of milk until you find your dentist.
- If you suffer a complete tooth loss, try to locate the lost tooth and do not pick it up by its root. Instead, carefully handle it by its crown, rinse it quickly under cold water, and try to gently put it back into the socket it came out of until you find a dentist. If it does not fit, place it in milk as you would a broken tooth. If there is no milk available, then you can leave a broken or lost tooth tucked into your cheek exposed to your saliva.
- For a chipped tooth, or one where the tooth’s enamel is damaged or that may have sharp edge,s you can place a bit of sugar-free gum on the affected area until you reach the dental office. If this chipping or cracking is causing you pain, then acetaminophen or other pain relievers can be used to lessen the pain. Also, rinsing your mouth with salt water can be helpful to the damaged tooth.
Of course, for any injuries it is very important that you contact your dentist as soon as possible to avoid any more permanent damage. We here at Dr. Lori Lemire Family Dentistry hope you have a fun and safe summer!