If your child plays a contact sport such as soccer, football, hockey, or basketball, they most likely wear protective gear such as helmets, kneepads, shoulder pads, etc to protect their head, neck, limbs and joints. Mouthguards, which can protect the teeth, lips, and other parts of the mouth, are just as important as the more common types of gear.
Unfortunately, we see a fair number of kids each year in our practice who have suffered trauma to their teeth and mouth, that could have been prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Sometimes these teeth need large fillings, root canals, and periodic evaluation to monitor for infection and abscesses which may not arise immediately following the accident.
Having a custom mouthguard made involves taking an impression or mould of the teeth which is then used by a dental lab to make a guard that fits the teeth exactly. We show you and your child how to clean and care for it and ask that you bring it in at all recall appointments so that we can check for wear and tear and make any needed adjustments.
If your child is not wearing a mouthguard and has a tooth knocked out, the first 30 to 60 minutes after the event is critical. Follow the steps below:
- Do not touch the root of the tooth (which is the long tapered part). Touch only the crown.
- Don’t brush or scrub the tooth
- Place the tooth in cold milk so that it does not dry out.
- Go to the dentist immediately so that the tooth can be replanted.