Should I Be Worried About My Children’s Teeth When Playing Sport?
We get many questions from parents who are anxious about the safety of their children’s teeth. You’re not alone if you’re concerned about your child injuring their teeth.
When our children play sports, they are at risk for injury, especially when it comes to their teeth.
So, we must implement protection to ensure they can play all day without sustaining a dental injury. Keep reading to learn about the preventative measures you can take and what you can do if your child injures their teeth.
Why Are Your Child’s Teeth At Risk When They Play Sports?
If your child is playing sports, several risks could cause injury to their teeth. These risks include:
- Sustaining a blow to the face from contact sports and balls impacting their teeth.
- Falling during sports and knocking their teeth.
Children often become injured when playing sports and engaging in physical activity. As parents, it’s our job to provide them with protective equipment to minimise the risk of injury.
What Can You Do To Cover Your Child’s Teeth?
To protect your child’s teeth during sports, you can take several different routes. Here are some examples:
- Face cages – If your child is playing sports involving hard balls, like cricket, you can ensure that they wear a face cage, ensuring that the impact of a ball does not reach their jaw or teeth.
- Boil-at-home mouthguards – You can purchase a boil-at-home mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth. Simply boil the mouthguard and place it in your child’s mouth to ensure the guard is moulded to your teeth and bite. This is a relatively inexpensive option.
- Stock mouthguards – Stock mouthguards are a one-size-fits-all mouthguard, and you can simply place them into your child’s mouth after purchasing.
- Custom-made mouthguards – The custom-made mouthguard is fitted by a dentist. They will make an impression of your child’s bite to create a cast. The dentist will make the mouthguard using the cast, fitting your child’s mouth perfectly.
So, which method of protection is best? Face cages are unsuitable for all on-field positions, as your child may need visibility to play well. Mouthguards allow your child to see in their peripherals and protect their teeth.
When choosing a mouthguard, it’s essential to consider your child’s comfort. Stock mouthguards are an easy option, but since they won’t be shaped to your child’s teeth, they could cause discomfort and tempt your child to play without wearing a mouthguard. Boil-at-home mouthguards provide more comfort and a better fit as they shape your child’s mouth.
However, the most comfortable option is going to be a custom-made mouthguard. If your child plays sports often and for long periods, this mouthguard will help keep your child comfortable, and the mouthguard will cause less rubbing on the gums.
You can easily access a custom-fitted mouthguard by calling your local Maroubra dentist and asking for a mouthguard-fitting appointment.
What Should You Do If Your Child Injures Their Teeth While Playing Sports?
If your child injures their teeth while playing sports, you must know the steps to take to preserve their teeth. Here is some information on what to do for your child following an injury.
If Your Child Loses A Tooth
If your child loses a tooth, time is of the essence. You should book an dental emergency appointment with your local dentist as soon as possible. While you wait for your dentist, there are some things you must do:
- If you can find your child’s tooth, place it back into their mouth and instruct them or hold it until the appointment.
- If you cannot place the tooth back into your child’s mouth, you should put it into milk to preserve the tooth’s condition.
- If you cannot find the tooth, you still need to visit your dentist, as when your child’s dental roots are exposed, this could lead to an infection.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your child is in the best possible position to recover the tooth or prevent infection should the tooth be missing.
If Your Child Chips Or Cracks A Tooth
Should your child chip or crack a tooth, you should take the following steps to ensure the dentist can restore their teeth as much as possible:
- Book an emergency dental appointment – Even if the chip seems minor, you should contact your dentist, as compromised enamel could lead to infection.
- If you can locate the part of the tooth which has been chipped, you should take the chipped tooth and place it into a bag of milk to preserve it and prevent the tissue from dying until you make it to the dentist.
- If your child’s mouth is bleeding, take a sanitised napkin or piece of gauze, and place it on the affected area. Ask your child to bite down on the gauze to restrict the blood flow.
- While you wait for your dental appointment, try to manage your child’s pain with ice and painkillers. Be sure to tell your dentist what your child has taken during your meeting.
These steps ensure you are in the best possible position to preserve the teeth and restore your child’s smile.
Dental Procedures For Missing And Chipped Teeth
When our children sustain an injury, and their teeth are missing or chipped, it can cause us great distress. However, your dentist can ease this stress by replacing missing teeth and restoring chipped teeth.
Your dentist will be able to offer the following procedures to restore your child’s smile:
- Dental implants – Your dentist can install an implanted tooth into your child’s mouth, fixed to their jawbone. You can do this for just one tooth or opt for dental bridges that restore more than one tooth in a row.
- Composite bonding – Your dentist can use composite bonding to recreate your child’s enamel, protect the tooth, and restore the natural appearance of their smile.
- Glueing – If you have saved the chipped part of the tooth, your dentist will be able to glue it back in place and restore the tooth.
- Fillings and dental crowns – Your dentist can install a cap for a chipped tooth that will restore it to its natural appearance.
- Reinstalling the tooth – Your dentist can place the missing tooth back into your child’s mouth and secure it. This process may only be possible within an hour of the incident, so it is crucial to travel to your dentist as soon as possible.
Although letting your child play sports can be worrisome, you can use a mouthguard to protect their teeth from impact and falls. If your child does sustain an injury, knowing the proper steps to take can help you to salvage the chipped or missing tooth and restore their smile. Your dentist can discuss the best treatments to replace a chipped or missing tooth.
Hopefully, learning about these solutions has helped to ease your anxiety about your child’s teeth. If you have more questions about your child’s teeth, reach out to our friendly team here at Maroubra Dental Clinic.