Based on the policies written by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, sports–related tooth trauma accounts for about 10%-39% of all dental injuries in children.
Interestingly, children Between the ages of 7 and 11 are at greatest risk of a sports-related tooth injury. popular sports such as BaseBall and BasketBall have Been shown to cause tooth injuries with greater frequency. often times, trauma occurs to the upper lip, upper jaw and upper front two teeth. Wearing mouthguards, helmets and facemasks while playing sports can help prevent most of these tooth injuries.
“Since we only have one set of permanent teeth, it is important for parents to follow proper steps during dental trauma in order to extend the longevity of the affected permanent tooth.”
SO, WHAT HAPPENS IF A TOOTH FALLS OUT?
» Find and evaluate the tooth to make sure the whole tooth has completely come out. Sometimes, fragments of the tooth can be caught in the lip or a piece of root may be left behind in the gums. Avoid touching and cleaning the root of a permanent tooth as this can hurt the nerve cells.
» If a baby tooth is involved, do not place it back into the gums! This can potentially damage the developing permanent tooth.
» Permanent teeth should be immediately placed back into the gums if the parent feels comfortable. Otherwise, the tooth should be stored in a cup of milk or Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS). Check with your local school nurse or sports facility to see if they have HBSS. If not, let Dr. Armin or Dr. Roma know so they can provide a free sample! If milk or HBSS is not available, spit/saliva, saline, or water (which should be the last resort) can be used…however, this may cause poor outcomes.
» A dentist should be contacted as soon as possible! Timing is crucial! Ideally, the permanent tooth should be placed back into the gums either by the parent or dentist within 60 minutes for a better chance of saving the permanent tooth
WHAT IF THE TOOTH HAS SHIFTED OR MOVED FROM ITS ORIGINAL SPOT?
» Whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth that has shifted, your dentist should be immediately notified to see if urgent treatment is needed.
» Try to manage any discomfort with over-the counter kid-friendly pain medications.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO REMEMBER:
» Rule out any head trauma, concussion, or loss of consciousness.
» If any of the above is suspected, your child should immediately be evaluated at the local emergency room before seeing your dentist.