The best way to prevent tooth trauma is by wearing a sports guard for all activities where contact could happen, such as rugby, hockey and martial arts. Not only does a sports guard protect against damage to the teeth during an impact, it can reduce trauma to the joints of the jaw and the skull as well.
Protect your teeth, jaw, skull, lips and cheeks!
Mouth guards slow down and absorb any impact, reducing the force to the teeth, jaw and skull. They protect the lips and cheeks from laceration against the teeth.
Custom-fit mouth guards are composed of several layers of plastic pressure-laminated together to produce a very impact-absorbing device. They are time-consuming and expensive to make but are universally acknowledged as being the most effective way of preventing oro-facial injuries in collision sports. (Prices are £65 for members, otherwise £79).
Boil and bite mouth guards (£10-£40) do not offer the same amount of protection because the plastic tends to thin out over those areas where protection is most needed; they are not as impact resistant and the fit is often poor. However, they are better than wearing nothing.
Most hockey and rugby clubs insist that participants wear a mouthguard and often have companies that will visit to take impressions. We have found these are generally of an acceptable quality.
Weighing up the costs
Fractured teeth can be extremely costly in terms of money and time off school or work, they can be painful and uncomfortable, aesthetically inferior and, especially in the long term require additional treatments such as root canal therapy and crowns.
Although mouth guards can be adjusted slightly to accommodate erupting teeth or a growing mouth they will need to be replaced as they are outgrown…just like trainers! If you have any questions, please ask at reception for an appointment…it only takes 15 minutes and your mouth guard will be ready in a week. There are also different colours and styles available.
Help, I have knocked my tooth out!
If a tooth is knocked out following an accident there is a chance it can be put back in by a dentist. So, first of all, try not to panic. Call us as soon as you can to book an emergency appointment and take the following advice:
If the tooth has come out whole you could try to put the tooth back into place: Hold the tooth by the crown (the white part usually visible in the mouth) not by the root. If the tooth is clean, hold it by the crown (making sure it is the right way round) and gently push it back into its socket. If the tooth is dirty rinse it in milk before gently pushing it back into place.
Apply pressure to the tooth, e.g. by biting onto a folded handkerchief. Telephone the practice immediately on 01926 339993 to make an emergency appointment. If you are calling out of hours use the emergency numbers supplied on the practice answer machine or go to the nearest accident and emergency department. Then make an appointment with us as soon as you can.
If you are unable to put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk or, if that’s notavailable, keep the tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum taking care not to swallow it.