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31st January 2019

Sports Mouthguard – A blow to the mouth and often lead to a permanent change plus lots of dentistry

Why have a sports mouthguard?

It can be sore having a blow to the mouth and often lead to a permanent change plus lots of dentistry. If you’re lucky the teeth are just concussed and return to normal but even years after an injury a tooth can start to be symptomatic.

Do you or your child play a contact sport? Do you always wear a mouthguard?

So many don’t wear a sports guard when playing

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Martial arts
  • Boxing – although probably most do with this sport!

Would you know what to do when you or your child knock out a tooth?

With improving dental health most of us are able to keep teeth for life, however, teeth still need to be replaced and often the reason is trauma, the tooth has been knocked out and usually in a sporting accident. This is very common in children and can also happen in adults – what to do?

If your child has an accident and knocks a tooth out, first try and check if it’s a baby tooth or an adult tooth. As a general rule of thumb if it is a front tooth and they are 6/7 or older then it may be an adult tooth if so it should be quite big whereas a baby tooth will be quite small. We do not attempt to put baby teeth back into place and just accept they will be lost soon anyway but if it’s an adult tooth then it’s important to try and get it back into place as soon as possible.

Try not to handle the tooth too much and certainly not the root and follow the guidance in this video

  1. Find the tooth
  2. If dirty clean by licking with saliva or gently rinsing with water
  3. Re-implant immediately
  4. Bite on a handkerchief
  5. Seek emergency dental care so they can splint the tooth

If you can’t put the tooth back in, place it in milk and seek emergency care immediately.

It is worth noting that if a tooth has been broken but not necessarily popped out then those pieces of the tooth can sometimes be “stuck” back together so it is definitely worth taking the fractured remnants to your dentist.

Other injuries can be that a tooth has been banged and is in a different position, you should also seek dental emergency care for this sort of injury so it can be repositioned or at least assessed.

The same advice follows for adults and re-implanting teeth in adults is just as successful as in children, the key is time. The sooner the tooth is put back into place the more likely it will survive. As the weeks go by after an accident it will become evident if further treatment is required and occasionally a root canal treatment is needed, your dentist will advise if this is the case.

Prevention – wearing a sports guard

We always recommend the use of a well-fitting mouthguard that protects the teeth when you receive a blow to the mouth. The mouthguards act by spreading the impact so one tooth doesn’t take all the load.

We do recommend a well-fitting mouthguard and for most this will mean custom made guard.

Aren’t the custom guards expensive?

Generally, the custom made guards are more expensive than the shop-bought ones. There are many advantages to them though, and they certainly become cost-effective as opposed to years of dental work due to trauma.

A Custom made Mouthguard

  • Will fit well and so will more likely be worn
  • Will last a while if looked after
  • Even children who have teeth changing for many years can have a custom made guard – they will usually last at least a season before they have grown too much for it.
  • Can be made in any colour combination of your choice
  • Is a small price to pay compared to years of replacement dentistry and even dental implants.

If you would like to find out more about custom made mouthguards please give us a call on 020 8224 7562.

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