It is estimated that thousands of sports-related oral injuries are prevented each year by the use of mouth guards. Mouth guards, much like air bags, cushion the force of a blow to the jaw and dissipate the energy, greatly decreasing the incidence and severity of concussions because the lower jaw (the mandible), is not forced back into the base of the skull (the TMJ), and harmful forces are not transmitted to the brain.
In addition, the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth are protected because the upper and lower jaws are not brought forcefully together, and the front teeth are cushioned. Costs related to replacing teeth lost due to trauma can run into the thousands, and can lead to a lifetime of dental problems.
What to do if a sporting injury occurs
Knocked out tooth
If a tooth is knocked out see your dentist immediately. If the dentist can re-implant the tooth with thirty minutes it may be possible to save the tooth.
Find and pick up the tooth by the top portion to prevent damage to the root.
Handle the tooth as little as possible.
Gently clean away any dirt by running under water.
Where possible replace the clean tooth in the socket, hold it in place with your finger and ask your child to bite down gently on it.
If you cannot replace the tooth place it in a container with milk.
Do not replace baby teeth in the socket as this may damage the formation of the permanent tooth bud.
If a tooth is pushed in or out, use light finger pressure to move the tooth back to its normal position.
Do not force the tooth.
Use a moist cloth or gauze to hold the tooth in place.
See your dentist as soon as possible.