Tags Posts tagged with "Dental Sports Injuries"

Dental Sports Injuries

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You Should Wear a Mouthguard for These Sports
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It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Sports mouth guards can not only protect your teeth, but they can protect against many injuries that can occur in and around your mouth.

Not convinced?  Six reasons why you should wear an athletic mouth guard.

Although some sports are riskier than others, you should consider wearing an athletic mouth guard while participating in any sport where you could suffer a blow to the face.  Some sports, such as football require a face shield as well as a mouth guard.  Other sports, like basketball, may not require a mouth guard, but wearing one could save your teeth.

Wear a Mouth Guard When Playing Soccer

Wear a Mouth Guard for These 16 Sports

1 – Football

2 – Boxing

3 – Ice hockey

4 – Baseball

5 – Wrestling

6 – Boxing

7 – Lacrosse

8 – Field Hockey

9 – Soccer

10 – Basketball

11 – Water Polo

12 – Handball

13 – Rugby

14 – Karate

15 – Horseback riding

16 – Gymnastics

No you don’t always need to wear an athletic mouth guard when you play the above sports, but a mouth guard can help prevent serious dental injuries.

I get it, nobody wants to be the dork that wears a mouth guard, but most mouth guard-wearing dorks do have better teeth!

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about athletic mouth guards?  Go ahead and leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

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Types of Sports Mouthguards
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Did you know that a recent survey by the American Association of Orthodontics found that “70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports, yet 67 percent admitted that their child does not wear a mouth guard during organized sports including football, basketball, soccer and lacrosse.”

I’m guessing that the survey asked parents about their biggest fear relating to their child and sports, not just their biggest fear in general.  If the latter were asked, I’m pretty sure that most parents would’ve said that their biggest fear has something to do with pythons, getting stuck in an elevator, or getting stuck in an elevator with a dentist and his drill.

Back to mouth guards.

While there are a variety of mouth guards out there, they can all be categorized into three basic groups.

The Three Types of Sports Mouth Guards: Which is Best?

In this section, I’ll go over the three main types of sports mouth guards.  If you’re impatient and you need to know which one is best, jump down to the next section where I provide the answer.

1 – Pre-formed or Stock Mouth Guards

Shock Doctor Brand Stock Sports MouthguardThe mouth guard pictured to the left is a Shock Doctor brand sports mouth guard.  It is a typical pre-formed or stock sports mouth guard.

The biggest advantage of stock sports mouth guards is that they are usually fairly cheap — they can usually be purchased for $10 or less.

The biggest draw back of stock sports mouth guards is that they are a “one size fits all” type of mouth guard.  Sure, they have different sizes for children and adults, but they don’t take into account the fact that jaws are all shaped differently.

Stock mouth guards are also usually rather bulky and make it more difficult to speak versus the other two types of mouth guards.

2 – Boil/Heat & Bite Mouth Guards

Boil and Bite Mouth Guard - Brain Pad Pro PlusPictured to the right is a Brain-Pad Pro Plus brand boil & bite mouth guard.  The name may be a bit misleading as it’s still not clear whether or not mouth guards prevent brain injuries.  These mouth guards are generally considered to be a step above the one-size-fits-all stock sports mouth guards.

When you open up a boil and bite mouth guard, it’s not ready to use.  You need to heat it up and bite down on it so that your teeth make an imprint on the inside.  They are usually heated up in hot water, hence the term boil & bite mouth guard.

Boil & bite mouth guards are usually fairly inexpensive.  They can be found in the $20 to $50 range. This particular brand retails for right around $20.

3 – Custom Fit Mouth Guards

Custom Sports Dental Mouth GuardA custom fit mouth guard is pictured to the left.  These types of mouth guards are usually the least bulky (only a few millimeters thick) and they are custom-made, usually by a dentist, to fit your teeth.  My dental school charges $75 for a custom sports mouth guard, but most dental practices seem to charge $100 to $200.

While looking around on Amazon, I did find that both Shock Doctor and Sporting Smiles sell a kit that will allow you to get a custom mouth guard made without setting foot in a dental office.  They are slightly cheaper, but if the fit is poor then you are out of luck.  If your dentist makes a custom fit mouth guard and the fit is poor, he or she can make adjustments (usually at no extra charge to you) if needed.

The Best Mouth Guard for Protection Against Sports Injuries

You may wonder which type of mouth guard is superior in terms of the protection it provides.

One of the main problems with mouth guards is that they’re not “cool” to wear.  Many kids give up wearing their over-the-counter mouth guard because it’s too bulky or it makes it harder for them to breathe.

This study by Bass determined that athletes were much more likely to wear a mouth guard if it fit well and was comfortable.  Interestingly, studies have shown that custom made mouth guards fit better, are more comfortable, are less likely to affect speech, and are less likely to come loose.

Pinkham’s Pediatric Dentistry textbook states the following about the high cost of custom-made sports mouth guards: “Even though the actual cost is higher than that of other types of mouth guards that are available, the relative cost is low compared with other equipment such as athletic shoes.  Furthermore, the actual cost is far more conservative than the fees associated with emergency and long-term management of a traumatic athletic injury.”

While that is true, many parents choose the least expensive option when it comes to mouth guards.  Although any mouth guard is better than no mouth guard, it’s important to get a mouth guard that fits well enough that your child will actually wear it during sports activities.  A well-fitting, comfortable custom-made mouth guard can be a good investment for your child if they plan on playing lots of sports throughout their childhood.

Want to know why mouth guards are important?  Read Six Reasons Why You Should Wear a Protective Mouth Guard.

Do you have any questions, concerns, or comments about which sports mouth guard is best for your child?  Write them below in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!

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Keep Your Kids Teeth Safe at the Swimming Pool
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Many parts of the United States have already had really hot temperatures this spring.  In spite of this, many swimming pools don’t officially open for the summer season until until Memorial Day weekend.  Since many people will be out swimming this weekend, I thought I would share a few tips on how to prevent dental injuries — keep your kids and their teeth happy by reading this article!

Tooth Safety at the Swimming Pool

How to Keep Your Teeth Safe at the Swimming Pool This Summer

What many parents don’t realize is that lots of dental emergencies happen at swimming pools.  If you take a blistering hot day, add a few dozen kids, throw in a lot of hard concrete edges, and sprinkle in some water to make everything slippery, you’ve created the perfect recipe for a dental disaster!

Luckily, you can prevent many dental injuries by simply following these three guidelines:

Dental Safety at the Swimming Pool1 – No Running! Make sure that your kids walk while in the swimming pool area.  Most pools have No Running posted as one of their rules.  This is because water often gathers around swimming pools which makes things extra slippery.  By making your kids walk, they will be less likely to slip, fall, and injure their teeth.

2 – Talk to Your Kids. If your kids are old enough, tell them that they can hurt their teeth.  Many children don’t realize that teeth can chip, crack, and even fall out.  If you tell them what can happen if they’re not careful when climbing the ladder, or hanging onto the hard, www.onlinepharmacytabs.com concrete edge of the pool they will likely be more careful and this will prevent a dental injury.

3 – Don’t Play too Rough. If you are throwing your kids around in the water, they will be more likely to accidentally hit something that could hurt their mouth.  Even accidentally colliding with another child in the pool could be forceful enough to cause a dental injury!  So be aware of your surroundings and find safe games and activities to do in the water.

What to Do When a Dental Injury Occurs at the Pool

It’s a good idea to know beforehand what to do when a tooth falls out.  If you haven’t read my past articles, you may want to check out these two articles:

What to do When Your Child’s Baby Tooth Gets Knocked Out

Nine Steps to Take When Your Permanent Tooth Gets Knocked Out

You also might want to put your dentist’s phone number into your cell phone so that you’ll have it in case a dental emergency occurs.  Most dentists have a system to reach them after hours if needed.

Most Importantly: Have Fun

Have a lot of fun and be safe at the pool this summer!  With a little extra caution, you can enjoy hours of water fun and stay injury-free.

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about dental accidents at the swimming pool?  Speak your mind in the comments section below.

Have a great Memorial Day – I’ll be back with a new article next Wednesday.  Thanks for reading!

Why Your Child Has a Dark Tooth
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If you have kids, you know that they can get themselves into a lot of interesting accidents.  Many times when kids get a head injury they knock out a tooth.  Other times, they simply hit the tooth really hard and injure it.

It has been estimated that 8-30% of kids under 7 suffer an accident that injures one of their baby front teeth.

Dark Tooth - Tooth DiscolorationAny time a tooth suffers an injury, there is a possibility that it may turn a different color.  If you’re wondering what it means if your child’s tooth has turned pink, red, gray, black, brown, or yellow, then you’re the reason I wrote this article!

Tip – I will use words like pulp, dentin, and enamel in this article. If you don’t know what those mean, you might want to brush up on The Anatomy of a Tooth.

When Your Child’s Tooth Turns Dark (Gray, Brown, or Black) After a Tooth Injury

When blood leaks out of blood vessels after a tooth injury, blood by-products such as iron can make their way into the small tubes inside the dentin layer of the tooth.  As the blood breaks down, it can make the tooth appear to be gray, dark gray, brown or even black.  This color change doesn’t usually occur until 2-3 weeks after the tooth has been injured and can occur after a tooth has turned red (see below.)

The book Paediatric Dentistry by Welbury states that “although the reaction is reversible to a degree, the crown of the injured tooth retains some of the discoloration for an indefinite period.  In cases of this type, there is some chance that the pulp will retain its vitality, although the likelihood of vitality is apparently low in primary teeth with dark gray discoloration.”

Basically, the author is stating that even if a tooth has a dark color, it may still be able to return to health.  Some experts have said that the darker the discoloration, the more likely it is that the nerve of the tooth has died.  For example, this study “found that 33 of 51 traumatized teeth with gray-black discoloration were necrotic.”  However, other experts state that the shade of darkness doesn’t reflect the health of the pulp.

If your child’s tooth has turned dark, the best thing to do is to have your child’s dentist look at it.  If there are other signs that the tooth is dead such as swelling or an infection that shows up on the x-ray, then your child’s dentist will probably choose to do something about it such as performing a root canal treatment or removing the tooth.

If there is no sign of infection in a dark tooth, the dentist may choose to not do anything and let the tooth eventually fall out on its own when the permanent tooth is ready to take on its role in the mouth.  A study by Sonis showed that 72% of darkened teeth fell out normally without any bad effects on the permanent tooth.

Also, if there are no other signs of infection, this study showed that there is no need to do a root canal.  The researchers concluded that “Root canal treatment of primary incisors that had change their color into a dark-gray hue following trauma with no other clinical or radiographic symptom is not necessary as it does not result in better outcomes in the primary teeth and their permanent successors.”

When Your Child’s Tooth Turns Red or Pink After a Tooth Injury

If a tooth is going to turn red after an injury it can turn red shortly after the injury, or it can wait anywhere from a few weeks to months before it begins to turn a pinkish red color.

Red and Pink Teeth Immediately After the Injury

If a tooth turns red shortly after being traumatized, it usually means that the blood vessels inside the pulp broke.  When the blood vessels rupture, blood leaks inside the whole pulp area of the tooth resulting in a reddish pink color.  This condition is known as pulpal hyperemia.

Sometimes pulpal hyperemia is difficult to detect.  You may have to shine a light on your child’s tooth and look at the tongue side of the tooth with a mirror to detect this color change.

The pink/red color may take a long time to go away or it may never go away and the tooth may start to darken to a shade of gray.

Red and Pink Teeth Weeks after the Injury

As a result of trauma, sometimes cells inside the tooth start eating away at the hard layers of the tooth through a process called internal resorption.  These cells are called odontoclasts and in certain cases they can eat away to the outside of the tooth within a few short weeks.  The tooth looks pink because as the pulp layer of the tooth gets bigger, its red color more easily shines through the thin layer of remaining tooth structure.

A man named James Howard Mummery first noticed this “pink spot” that appears on teeth, which is why it is typically referred to as pink tooth of Mummery.  Pink tooth of Mummery can start occurring anywhere from a few weeks to months after a tooth is injured.

These teeth are usually kept until the crown of the tooth is dissolved.  Then the tooth root can either be removed or it can be left to get dissolved spontaneously as the permanent tooth comes into your child’s mouth.

When Your Child’s Tooth Turns Yellow After a Tooth Injury

The dentin layer of a tooth under the enamel is normally a yellow color.  If a tooth reacts to an injury by laying down a lot more dentin, it is known as pulp canal obliteration (Also called calcific metamorphososis, progressive canal calcification or dystrophic calcification.)

The increase in the amount of dentin and the concurrent decrease in the amount of pulp gives the tooth a yellow, opaque color.

The book Pediatric Dentistry by Pinkham states that “although pulp canal obliteration is a pathologic process, it has no known deleterious effects and therefore does not necessitate any treatment except follow-up.”

It is important to regularly follow-up with your child’s dentist about any teeth that have turned yellow after an injury.  The book Paediatric Dentistry by Welbury notes that “a small percentage [of yellow teeth] demonstrate pathologic change many years after the injury.”

Conclusion

Many times parents want to rush treatment when their child’s tooth changes color.  It is important to understand that “in the primary dentition of a healthy child, color change alone does not indicate a need for pulp therapy or extraction of the tooth (Pinkham.)”

Basically, if your child’s baby tooth has changed color, often the best treatment is no treatment.  As long as an infection doesn’t develop, simply waiting it out and seeing what happens could mean that your child doesn’t have to go through unnecessary dental treatment.  And that’s a good thing, especially after they’ve already been through a traumatic tooth injury.

Do you have any stories, questions, or comments about tooth discoloration?  Do you still have a question that I didn’t answer?  Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below so that we can all learn from each other – Thanks for reading!

Submitted Photos

Krista from The Muminator blog shared the following photos of her daughter after she had an accident in 2012:

Here’s a photo not too long after her daughter was playing on the furniture and fell:

Dark Tooth Following Traumatic Accident

Here’s a photo a few weeks after that.  The tooth continued to get darker:

Dark Tooth Continues to Get Darker Following Accident

And a final photo of the tooth returning almost back to its normal color:

Dark Tooth Getting Light Again Following Accident

You can read all about her daughter’s experience on this thorough blog post that she wrote about the entire experience.

The following photo is from Jennifer, who has left some very informative comments below regarding her daughter’s dark tooth.  She states:

Its not white completely but is a lot better than what it was… The left side of the photo is around 3-4 weeks after the trauma.. and the right side of the picture was taken a few days ago, around 8 weeks after the trauma, It has also moved back into alignment a bit more as well, as it was knocked back with a blunt blow.
Dark Tooth Turned White Again

If you have a photo of your child who had an injury that caused a tooth to discolor, please send them to me using this form and I can post them here to help others who are going through this same experience.

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Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth Differences
©Timothy W. Stone/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever noticed that baby teeth look like they’re whiter than adult teeth?  Or maybe you knocked out a baby tooth when you were a child, but when you had a similar accident when you were older, your permanent tooth got chipped rather than getting knocked out.

The two scenarios above can be explained by the differences between adult and permanent teeth.

Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth Comparison

There are many differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth, but before I get into all of the differences, take a look at the photo above of the little girl swimming.

Now, take a closer look at her teeth in the photo below:

Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth Comparison

In the picture to the left, there are six permanent teeth that are visible.  Can you spot them?

They are the two top front teeth, the two bottom front teeth, and the two molars on the bottom in the very back of her mouth.

These permanent teeth stand out in more ways than one.  I’ll cover all these differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth below.

As you read, feel free to refer back to this picture to get a visual representation of some of the more noticeable differences that I talk about below.

The Differences Between Permanent Teeth and Baby Teeth

1 – The enamel and dentin are thinner in baby teeth, and the pulp is bigger relative to the rest of the tooth. This means that if your child gets a cavity, it will travel much faster to the nerve of the tooth. This is one more reason why it’s important to take your child to the dentist before they turn one year old and get routine checkups thereafter.

Not sure what enamel, dentin, and pulp are?  Read my previous article about the anatomy of a tooth.

2 – Permanent teeth are more yellow than baby teeth. Take a quick look at the picture above and you’ll see that the six permanent teeth that are visible  don’t look nearly as white as the other baby teeth.

3 – Baby teeth have shorter roots – because of this they aren’t anchored as well into the bone and may fall out more easily if your child falls on a hard step or hits their mouth on the coffee table.  The shorter roots also give the permanent teeth more room to develop underneath the baby teeth and make it easier to dissolve the roots of the baby teeth when the permanent teeth are ready to come into the mouth.

Find out what to do when a baby tooth gets knocked out.

4 – Baby teeth fall out – If you take good care of your adult teeth you can keep them for your entire life.  Just because baby teeth fall out, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t important.  If you’ve been staying up late at night pondering this question, click the following link to find out why baby teeth are important.

5 – Permanent teeth have mamelons.  Mamelons are the small bumps that give the permanent incisors a serrated look when they first come into the mouth.  If you look closely at the girl in the picture above, you can see the little bumps on the edges of her four permanent front teeth.  Mamelons quickly wear away as long as the teeth fit together properly.

Learn more about what mamelons are and what to do if you still have them as an adult.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are definitely some differences between adult and permanent teeth. These differences can not only affect the appearance of the teeth, but can also affect what happens to a tooth when you suffer an injury to the mouth.

Do you have any questions about baby teeth or permanent teeth? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below! Thanks for reading.

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Care of Athletic Mouthguard
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There are many reasons to have the protection of an athletic mouthguard.

A mouthguard protects your teeth when you participate in physical activities that are potentially dangerous to your teeth and mouth.  But, have you ever thought about what you are doing to protect your mouthguard?

Your protective athletic mouthguard is always doing one of these three things:

Custom Athletic Mouthguard1 – Protecting you during an activity.
2 – Being stored, awaiting its next use.
3 – Getting cleaned.

Below, I will discuss some ways to care for your protective athletic mouthguard – whether it is being used, stored, or cleaned.

Caring For Your Protective Athletic Mouthguard While It’s In Use

Any time we have something in our mouths, we have a strong desire to chew.  It’s just human instinct.  When you have gum in your mouth, you want to chew.  When food enters your mouth, you unconsciously start chewing it.  So it is easy to see why some get into the habit of chewing on their mouthguards, especially while participating in nerve-wracking sports games!  Unfortunately, chewing on your mouthguard will drastically shorten its life.

The associate dean at my dental school is an avid football fan.  Many of the high school students in his community go to him to get custom mouthguards made.  He told us the story of an excellent high school football player who would chew through his mouthguard each week while he was sitting on the sidelines.  Consequently, the associate dean made him a new mouthguard before each and every game!  While this player was fortunate to have a football fan for his dentist, you may not be so lucky and the cost of replacing mouthguards on a frequent basis can really add up.

So, if you find yourself wanting to bite your mouthguard while you’re not in the game, try taking it out until you get back into the game so that you can extend its life.  But please do remember to put it back in!  Your teeth need protection.

How to Properly Store Your Protective Athletic Mouthguard

Once the game is over (and hopefully won), most players are focused on celebrating the victory and simply toss their custom mouthguard anywhere it will fit.

Many high school football players get into the habit of storing their mouthguards in their face-guards, helmets, or backpacks.  If the mouthguard is shoved in a tight place, it can easily get distorted.

Since custom mouthguards are made out of a soft plastic, any unnatural pressure can distort them and will result in a poor fit the next time they are used.

Ideally, you should get the cast of your teeth that your dentist used to make the mouthguard and put the mouthguard on that cast after each use.  That way, the mouthguard will conform to the cast and retain its custom fit.

However, a more practical way to store your mouthguard is in a case that your dentist can provide.  Be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place as heat can also distort your mouthguard.  Leaving your mouthguard in a parked car on a hot summer day could also seriously distort it.

How to Properly Clean Your Protective Athletic Mouthguard

Hopefully, you’re not just using and storing your mouthguard without cleaning it!  Like any dental appliance that sits in your mouth for a long period of time, custom mouthguards need to be cleaned.  Without regular cleanings, bacteria will multiply and cause unpleasant odors to develop.  This could even result in bad breath after wearing your mouthguard.

Luckily, cleaning your mouthguard is quite simple:

After you are done using it, simply rinse it off with cold water.  That’s all.

Many people want to use hot water since they think that will get it cleaner.  Remember, heat can distort your custom mouthguard.  You may also be tempted to use alcohol, denture cleaning products, or toothpaste to clean your mouthguard.  All of these cleaners can harm your custom mouthguard, especially the denture products and toothpaste since they are generally more abrasive.

The book, Craig’s Restorative Dental Materials recommends periodically deep cleaning your custom mouthguard with a solution of soap and water.  A mild liquid hand soap will work well for this.

Conclusion

As long as you treat your mouthguard with care while wearing it, store it in a proper container, and rinse it with cold water after each use, you can expect to get a long life out of your custom mouthguard.

Do you have any questions or comments about caring for your custom athletic mouthguard?  Please leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for visiting OralAnswers.com!

Reasons to Wear a Mouthguard
©Jason Stitt/Shutterstock.com

Common sense dictates that it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports or engage in any activity where you could potentially damage your teeth.  However, we don’t always do what we know is in our best interest.

Mouthguards: Football TeamThere are several reasons why people don’t wear mouthguards.  Sometimes people don’t know that the activity that they are engaging in requires a mouthguard.   Teenagers may not wear them because there is peer pressure to not wear one.  After all, nobody wants to be the only one on their team that wears a mouthguard!  Others might complain that a mouthguard is uncomfortable or interferes with their speech and breathing.

However, there are several reasons to wear a mouthguard.  I would like to share some of them with you.  My goal is not to convince you to wear a mouthguard (or to convince you to make your child to wear a mouthguard) if you are not already.  But I do hope that this article will increase your awareness of the implications of wearing or not wearing a mouthguard so that you can make an informed decision.

Six Reasons to Wear a Protective Dental Mouthguard

1. Mouthguards Protect Against Tooth Fractures

One of the most important functions of mouthguards are to keep your teeth from breaking.  If your tooth does fracture, it usually can be saved.  Here’s a few types of tooth fractures and their respective treatment:

Baby Tooth Knocked Out Child
©Paul Binet/Shutterstock.com

What should you do when your child comes to you crying with a bloody mouth and a tooth in their hand? A normal reaction to this scenario is panic. However, if you know what steps to take, you could prevent permanent damage to your child’s teeth.

What to Do When a Baby Tooth Gets Knocked OutThe American Dental Association estimates that by the time kids graduate from high school, one in three boys and one in four girls will have suffered some sort of traumatic injury to their teeth. Also, baby teeth are a lot easier to knock out than permanent teeth because their crowns (the top part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth) are a lot longer than their roots (the bottom part of the tooth that’s hidden under the gums.)

Most caring parents wonder what they should do when their child knocks out a tooth. It is critical that parents are informed so they do not inadvertently damage the permanent tooth that is developing underneath the baby tooth in their child’s mouth.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the steps you should take when a permanent tooth gets knocked out. With permanent teeth, you want to put them back in the socket as soon as possible. However, when you are dealing with a baby tooth you may not want to put it back in because you could end up damaging the permanent tooth that is still developing below your child’s gum-line.

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Permanent Tooth Knocked Out Child
©Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock.com

No matter how careful people are, there always seems to be a way to knock out a tooth. When a tooth gets knocked out, the technical name for this condition is called tooth avulsion. Unfortunately, when a tooth gets knocked out, panic ensues. There may be many people around who “know what to do” and want to help you save your tooth.

Teeth Can Be Knocked Out During Hockey GamesIt is true that once a tooth gets knocked out, it can successfully be re-implanted and return to normal function. However the key lies in what happens during the critical period while the tooth is outside of your mouth. Here, I offer nine simple steps to take when your tooth gets knocked out to keep it healthy so that it can return to its favorite past-time of chewing delicious meals.

Nine Steps to Take When Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out of Your Mouth

As a general rule, the sooner a tooth can get back into its socket inside the mouth, the better chance it has to survive long-term.

1. When a tooth gets knocked out, it is important to pick it up while only touching the crown of the tooth (the crown is the part of the tooth that is normally visible inside your mouth.)  If you can’t find the tooth try as hard as you can to find it.  Although aspiration rarely occurs, it is possible that the tooth could’ve been inadvertently breathed in by the accident victim.

2. Next, rinse off the tooth very gently with tap water, saliva (spit), or saline solution. It is important not to scrub the root of the tooth (the root is the part of the tooth that is normally hidden below the gums in your mouth and is more yellow than the crown.) Many people think it is important to scrub the tooth to get all of the germs off. However, if you scrub the tooth, you could scrub away the periodontal ligament or the cementum, which both help to hold the tooth in the socket. By scrubbing them away, you will reduce the chances of the tooth permanently re-attaching itself inside the mouth. Soap and chemicals such as bleach will damage the cells that are left on the tooth which could make successful re-implantation impossible.