Did you know that more than 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out (or what we in the dental community refer to as tooth avulsion) every year?
It’s not something people worry about until it happens to them, but preventing dental injury is as important as regular brushing and flossing.
Sports-related mishaps account for three times more dental injuries than other accidents or falls. And with the Stanley Cup Playoffs on right now, it got us thinking about what you can do if you lose one of those pearly whites:
Tooth Avulsion, what do to do? Act fast!
A permanent adult tooth can be saved if you see your dentist immediately. Within 30 minutes is best, but the sooner the better. Keeping the tooth moist in transport is vital.
Quick steps you can take to save your smile:
- Carefully collect your tooth; avoid touching the root-end.
- If it’s dirty, rinse it with some milk or water. Never wipe or brush it off, this can damage the root.
- Once clean, put it back into the socket and hold it in place until you can get to the dentist. This will help keep the root alive as long as possible.
- If you can’t keep it in place, hold it in your mouth between your gums and lower lip.
- If all else fails you can put it in a small container of milk or your own saliva.
See a Dental Professional
Putting a tooth back in place can be simple. Depending on timing and the extent of the trauma, your tooth may be able to be re-implanted successfully and you can keep it for years to come.
Preventing a Dental Injuries
It may be hard to avoid an unforeseen accident. But since athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth when not wearing a mouthguard, here’s three options that are ideal protection:
- Custom mouthguards: They offer the best protection and are a perfect fit for your teeth and gums. They are fabricated by your dentist.
- Stock mouthguard: Pre-formed and ready-to-wear, it’s a quick and cheap option.
- Boil and bite mouthguard: A convenient at-home option that softens when it is boiled to take the shape of your mouth.
Still, the best way to avoid tooth avulsion is taking proper precautions in preventing it. Ask us about custom mouthguards at your next appointment. Because you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. But for the pros, it’s just another part of the good ol’ hockey game!