3 Million Teeth a Year Knocked Out by Sport

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The US Surgeon General has found that a third of all sporting injuries are craniofacial, affecting the teeth, jaw and mouth. Stephen Mitchell D.M.D. an associate professor at the UAB Department of Paediatric Dentistry noted, “the most common injuries we see are broken, displaced or knocked out teeth, and broken jaws.” The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation also gives the estimate of 3 million teeth, which they believe will be lost this year due to sporting activities.

The numbers of these injuries highlights the importance of proper mouth guard protection for those who play sport. Children as well as adults should wear a guard, to prevent unnecessary tooth loss and damage. Stephen Mitchell gave he is advice on the best way to protect a child’s mouth against sporting injuries: “if they still have some of their baby teeth, a custom guard is a waste of money. Parents will be better off going to the store and buying one of the guards that can be boiled and molded to their child’s mouth.”

If you do suffer an injury during sport and a tooth has been knocked out cleanly, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure the tooth can be restored to its socket.

–The tooth must be returned to the mouth within 30 minutes for a better chance of acceptance, so it is of vital importance that you visit a dentist straight away.

— Do not touch the root of the tooth, as this can be damaged very easily, hold the tooth by the crown instead.

— If there is dirt on the tooth do not use water or wipe the tooth, rinse it in milk.

— If you can place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place. If you are unable to do this put the tooth in a cup of milk, which will continue to feed the tooth with the nutrients it needs to survive. Never put the tooth in a glass of water, as this will destroy the cells needed to restore the tooth.


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