Protect Yourself from Tooth Loss this Summer

dentist-01Tooth loss may occur anytime during the year, especially for active school-age children who play sports. However, summer generally increases the entire family’s outdoor activity level. With more fun comes the potential for an increased risk of tooth loss requiring a special trip to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

Protect Active Children and Adults from Tooth Loss

According to statistics, the primary source of tooth and mouth injuries is sports. In fact, 40 percent of dental injuries occur during sports activities. That doesn’t mean you and your children have to sit on the sidelines. However, it does suggest that it’s important to take precautions.

Statistics suggest that children aged seven to ten have the most sports-related injuries at nearly 60 percent. Specifically, baseball, biking, hockey, and basketball produce the most injuries, although the highest number of orofacial injuries for males is generally found in wrestling and basketball; for females, it was basketball and field hockey. The most frequent injuries included lip and tongue lacerations, and jaw fractures.

When your children (or you) play sports, particularly organized sports, be sure they wear the necessary protective gear. Depending on the activity, this may include:

  • A mouth guard to protect teeth and gums;
  • A face cage, like those worn by a baseball catcher; and/or
  • A helmet, when riding a bike, skateboard, or motorbike, or even while playing football. Although it will not protect your mouth, it will protect your head.

Interestingly, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends a mouth guard for youth participating in any organized sports. The American Dental Association, on the other hand, recommends wearing one for more than three dozen sports activities including acrobatics, handball, skydiving, and water polo.

Receiving Treatment for Mouth Injuries

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether to visit a dentist after a mouth injury. Health care professionals recommend contacting your primary health care provider or your Century City cosmetic dentist whenever there is:

  • Pain, tenderness, or sensitivity in a tooth
  • A broken, loose, or missing tooth
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Pain in the jaw
  • An object stuck anywhere in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • A large cut or hole inside or outside the mouth
  • A potential puncture in the back of the throat
  • Weakness, numbness, blurred vision, or slurred speech
  • A fever or signs of infection

To prevent tooth loss during extended physical activities it’s important to be proactive, take precautions to protect yourself ahead of time. If you’re unsure what protective gear is right for you or your child, talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.