When school resumes, contact sports rev up! Soccer, football, basketball, and even competitive swimming can all result in blows to the mouth.
As ‘Mom’ to two active sons, I realize a mouthguard is not always a priority with players. However, wise parents and coaches insist on mouthguards for those in their care. The alternative can be costly and have permanent impact!
If a dental mishap does occur, below are guidelines to follow:
CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK – Apply cold compress to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.
KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH – Handle the tooth by the top portion rather than the root. Rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. Time is a critical factor in saving a tooth.
BROKEN TOOTH – Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the area of the injury. Save any broken tooth fragments and call our office immediately.
POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW – If a fractured jaw is suspected, use a tie, towel or handkerchief to tie underneath the chin and over the top of the head. This will help to keep the jaws from moving. Take the child to the nearest emergency room.
BROKEN BRACES & WIRES – Fortunately, most loose or broken appliances do not require emergency room attention. If the appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If not, cover sharp or protruding portions with cotton balls, gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, do not remove it. Take the child to the orthodontist immediately.
BLEEDING AFTER BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT – Pack the bleeding area with a folded, clean gauze or cloth. Have the child bite on this with mild pressure for 15 minutes. Repeat for another 15 minutes if necessary. If bleeding persists, call us immediately.
TOOTHACHE – Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm, salt water or use dental floss to gently dislodge trapped food or debris. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and call to be seen as soon as possible. Do not place aspirin on the gum or the aching tooth.
Please remember that we make custom-fitted mouthguards, which are more comfortable and have a better fit. This means your child is more likely to wear it! Call us at 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an appointment.