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It’s a Knock Out: Dealing with Sports-Related Dental Injuries in Children

Exposing a child to sports brings significant benefits like enhanced physical health, better social skills, and improved mental health. Signing a child up with sports clubs also teaches them teamwork and instills self-confidence, both of which prove helpful when they grow up.

However, exposing children to sports makes them prone to dental injuries. A scary collision or an accidental elbow on the face could displace a tooth, forcing the child to undergo an emergency procedure and get implants for new teeth.

Dental Injuries in Sports Are Not Unusual

According to a report by the Journal of the American Dental Association, around 13 to 39% of dental injuries are caused by sports activities. However, there is no distinction between sports played by adults and sports activities by children.

Most dental injuries are common in contact sports like basketball, football, and hockey. Common dental injuries include avulsion, fracture, and tooth loosening. The JADA found that males are more prone to dental trauma than females, with the maxillary central incisor being the most commonly injured tooth.

Treating Sports-Related Dental Injuries

If a child loses a tooth while playing a sport, keep him or her calm and use cold compresses or light pressure to control any bleeding. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing side) and rinse it with water, milk, or saliva if it is dirty.

Take the child to the dentist right away. Delaying dental injury management usually leads to complications that require a more complex procedure. Dentists agree that the first 30 seconds to five minutes is the optimal time for re-implantation.

What Happens After the Implantation?

Once implants are inserted, the dentist will splint the tooth in place by molding aluminum foil or Blu-tac around it.

After the procedure, patients are advised to eat soft food for up to two weeks and to avoid playing sports until further notice. They must brush their teeth using a soft toothbrush after every meal and rinse their mouth with chlorhexidine once a day for one week.

Dentists recommend for the patient to come back seven to 10 days after the emergency procedure. They’ll conduct a root canal treatment or place dental implants, depending on the condition of the re-implanted tooth. Follow-up treatments like splint removal and clinical and radiographic control may be required every month.

Preventing Sports-Related Dental Injuries

To limit the incidence of injuries, the American Dental Association recommends that athletes wear appropriate facial protection. Athletes of sports that don’t have dental protection (like baseball, basketball, and soccer) are advised to use mouth guards at all times.

Playing sports is a valuable part of growing up, so don’t let the fear of dental injury prevent your child from doing something they may enjoy. Equipping them with the right protective gear and knowing what to do when the injury happens prevents a dental injury from happening or from worsening.

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants from Rod W. Gore DDS

If your child has lost a tooth due to a sports-related injury, contact Rod W. Gore DDS, implant dentists at Scottsdale, AZ. We take a friendly, personal approach to create a personalized treatment that will improve your dental health and smile. Assisted by skilled staff and up-to-date technology, Dr. Gore provides an excellent level of care to patients of all ages.

Achieve a healthy mouth and a GOREgeous smile with the expertise of Rod W. Gore, DDS. Schedule an appointment with us by calling 480-585-6225.

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