Dental Injuries

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While most traumatic dental injuries occur in children and teenagers, people of all ages can be affected, however, frequently in children traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of a sports accident,  If you’ve experienced a traumatic dental injury  (whether during sports or any other mishap) it is important to visit your dentist in order to determine any necessary treatment. Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires examination by a dentist immediately. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam. Please remember, not to panic, in most cases, tooth and mouth injuries are not life threatening. Rarely, a child may develop serious complications. Injuries to the teeth and mouth can also have long-lasting effects on the child’s appearance and self-confidence.

Just a few statistics for you:

  • Sporting activities cause the greatest percentage of dental traumatic injuries in teens. Pre-teens and teens have the highest number of sports related dental injuries, with the top 3 sports being; Basketball, Biking and Hockey.
  • 50% of all children and teens will suffer at least one traumatic injury to a tooth by the time they graduate high school.
  • About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.
  • Young men suffer traumatic tooth injuries 2-3 times more often than young women.
  • About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.

With good oral hygiene and routine dental checkups; a nutritious diet low in sugar we can usually take good care of our teeth. When children (and adults) take part in sports however, it is perhaps a good measure to wear appropriate protective gear such as a custom-made mouthguard and helmet when playing sports. If your child does complain of toothache or suffers a dental injury, make sure he or she sees your family dentist or pediatric dentist (a specialist in children’s teeth) as soon as possible. This is usually preferable to seeking care at an emergency room, as hospitals often do not have trained personnel or equipment to handle dental emergencies — unless there is a dentist or oral surgeon on call. Of course, there are times when you have no choice but to rush your child to the nearest ER.

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Custom Sports Guards/ Mouth Guards

Mouth Guards and Sports Guards!

Dr David Schmidt recommends you use a mouthguard during any activity, sport, that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath.

Ask your dentist about having a custom mouthguard made specifically for you. This will fit well and offer the best protection for your smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a mouth protector?

Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. This includes a wide range of sports like football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball.

Mouth protectors, which typically cover the upper teeth, can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.

 

What are the advantages of using a mouth protector?

Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth protector can help cushion a blow to the face that otherwise might result in an injury to the mouth. A misdirected elbow in a one-on-one basketball game or a spill off a bicycle can leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss. A mouth protector can limit the risk of such injuries as well as protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.

A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.

 

Are there different types of mouth protectors?

There are three types of mouth protectors:

  1. Stock
    Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  2. Boil and bite
    Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. If you don’t follow the directions carefully you can wind up with a poor-fitting mouth protector.
  3. Custom-fitted
    Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized they can offer a better fit than anything you can buy off the shelf.

 

I wear braces. Can I use a mouth protector?

A properly fitted mouth protector may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth protector also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth protector that will provide the best protection. Although mouth protectors typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth protector on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.

If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

Dr Schmidt offers custom mouth guards with custom colors as well! Call us if you or your child is in need of a custom made mouth guard!  734-485-2200