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Mouthguards and Dental Emergencies

The importance of mouthguards:

A mouthguard, usually a flexible piece of plastic that fits into the mouth - usually to the upper teeth and 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 - or even to prevent the teeth being damaged against each other. In particular, mouthguards should be worn during the following sports:

  • football
  • soccer
  • rugby
  • wrestling
  • baseball
  • softball
  • lacrosse
  • field hockey
  • ice hockey
  • martial arts
  • boxing

Some of these sports even 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.

Mouthguards and preventable injuries:

Injuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following:

  • dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth
  • concussion
  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • broken or chipped tooth
  • bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip
  • objects caught/lodged between the teeth
  • jaw fractures

Many of these can be prevented with proper and consistent use of a professionally fitted mouthguard:

 

A Dental Emergency

According to the Australian 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:

  • Rinse the tooth - preferably in milk, but if not, BRIEFLY in tap water.
  • Avoid scrubbing the tooth.
  • Insert the tooth into the empty socket quickly.
  • If you are uncomfortable inserting the tooth, put the tooth in milk or wrap in cling film.
  • Get to the dentist immediately. Avoid touching the root surface of the tooth (the bit that is normally UNDER the gum)