It is estimated that up to 39 percent of dental injuries are sports related. Dental injuries are extremely common among both children and adults who play sports. Knowing what to do in the event of an injury can minimize the damage. When a tooth is knocked out, there is a chance of saving it if you can see the dentist quickly. The doctor can repair minor fractures and chips with bonding material. Lost crowns can often be cemented back over the tooth.
We have several articles offering tips on how to handle dental emergencies until you can receive professional care. However, even slight dental injuries can cause painful and costly damage. Many sports related dental injuries could be prevented by wearing proper protection. About 200,000 oral injuries are prevented per year due to football players using mouth guards.
The best type of protection depends on the sport you play:
- Mouth Guards – The best way to prevent injuries to your teeth, lips, and tongue is to wear a mouth guard. Sporting goods stores offer the “boil and bite” type of mouth guard, however, a custom fitted guard from your dentist is preferred. They fit better than ready-made ones, so they are more comfortable and therefore, may protect your teeth better. Mouth guards are needed for sports such as biking, gymnastics, skateboarding, hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, and football, or any activity that can involve flying equipment, body contact, or falls.
- Helmets – If your sport involves speed, or the potential for impact, such as bike riding, skating, hockey, or football, then a helmet is crucial to protect your head as well as your oral structure. It is important that you choose a helmet that is appropriate for the sport and that it fits well.
It is important that you always wear your protection, even if it is just for a quick game, short run, or practice. It is estimated that 60 percent of the injuries in organized sports occur during practice or warm-up, rather than during actual play.
Restoration of a knocked out tooth can cost 20 times as much as a top of the line mouth guard, and then there is pain, suffering, and lost play on top of that. Don’t takes chances, visit Dr. Koppikar and the team at Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix AZ for a custom mouth guard. Call (602) 954-8200 to schedule an appointment today.