If you’re an avid sports enthusiast, you know the thrill of the game can sometimes also come with unexpected twists and turns – including dental emergencies.
At DentalPros, we believe that safety is paramount, both on and off the field. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to manage dental emergencies while playing contact sports.
Whether you’re into football, basketball, hockey, or any sport where contact occurs or collisions can happen, here’s what you need to know to protect your smile:
1. Wear a Custom Mouthguard
Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding serious injury while playing sports. Invest in a custom-fitted mouthguard that provides optimal protection for your teeth and jaw. Over-the-counter options can’t match the level of comfort and safeguarding that a dentist-designed mouthguard offers. Stop by any of our three DentalPros locations to get all set up with a mouthguard that perfectly fits your face and you can play sports with confidence.
2. Know the Signs of Dental Emergencies
Be aware of the potential risks. Learn to recognize signs of dental injuries, including cracked or broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, jaw pain or discomfort, and any injuries to the lips, tongue, or cheeks. Quick action can make a significant difference in the outcome, so understanding the signs of dental emergencies while playing sports can ensure you stay protected.
3. Immediate Response Matters
In case of an injury, stay calm and act swiftly:
Knocked-Out Tooth: Handle the tooth by the crown (top), not the root (bottom). Place the tooth in the mouth or clean it with the patient’s spit. If you have a saline solution nearby, that will work. Place the tooth back into the socket the best you can. If that’s not possible, keep it moist in a container of saliva and come see us at DentalPros immediately. The success is very important on how fast you can get the tooth back into the socket. It is usually about an hour.
Cracked or Broken Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and see a specialist at DentalPros as soon as possible.
Lip, Tongue, or Cheek Injury: Clean the area gently and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If bleeding is severe or doesn’t stop, seek emergency medical attention.
4. Contact Us at DentalPros ASAP!
Regardless of the severity of the dental injury, it’s crucial to contact your dentist as soon as possible after a possible injury. Our dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons can provide guidance over the phone and will address the issue immediately when you arrive at the office. We have an on-service 24 hours and will help you or your child out!
5. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration and sports don’t mix. Dehydration can exacerbate dental injuries, so make sure you stay well-hydrated before, during, and after your sporting event by drinking ample water.
6. Stick to Soft Foods
If you’ve sustained any kind of dental injury, opt for soft foods only. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy items – anything that causes dental discomfort – until you receive dental treatment from someone on the DentalPros team.
7. Regular Dental Check-ups
Routine dental and oral hygiene check-ups are essential to catch and address any potential issues before they become dental emergencies. Your dentist can assess the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouthguard to ensure they’re in good shape for sports.
Remember, the health of your teeth, gums and mouth are just as important as the health of any other body part and can significantly affect your performance on the field. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy playing your favorite sports while still safeguarding your smile.
Dental emergencies sometimes happen. But if you ever find yourself experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact DentalPros – we’re here to keep your smile in top shape, on and off the field.