Mouth Guards and Dental Emergencies
According to the American Dental Association, the difference between saving or losing a knocked out tooth, is the 30 minutes following the incident. Get to the dentist immediately.
To save the tooth, follow these steps:
1. Rinse the tooth in tap water.
2. Avoid scrubbing the tooth.
3. Insert the tooth into the empty socket quickly.
4. If you are uncomfortable inserting the tooth, put the tooth in milk or water.
5. Get to the dentist immediately.
A mouthguard, usually a flexible piece of plastic that fits into the mouth, should be worn during all recreational and athletic activities to protect the mouth and teeth from serious injury - especially activities where there is contact or potential contact with another person, piece of equipment, or the ground. In particular, mouthguards should be worn during the following sports:
- field hockey
- ice hockey
- martial arts
Some of these sports require the use of a mouthguard at the amateur level.
Many recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling, also pose a risk of injuring the mouth and teeth. Exercise caution during these activities.
Injuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following, many of which could be prevented with proper and consistent use of a mouthguard:
- dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth
- cerebral hemorrhage
- broken or chipped tooth
- bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip
- objects caught/lodged between the teeth
- jaw fracture
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