The Three Most Common Dental Injuries and How to Avoid Them
You've warned your kids about the dangers of playing rough. Still, no matter how many times you've given the same lecture, someone always ends up with a bumped head or scratched arm.
However, when those bumps and falls cause a dental injury, you might have a bigger problem on your hands.
Of course, dental injuries aren't restricted to children. Anyone can chip a tooth while playing sports or stumbling over an uneven surface.
Here are three common dental injuries to watch for and—when possible—try to avoid:
1. Mouth Injuries from Tripping or Falling
Everyone has fallen down at one time or another. Usually, a fall results in nothing more complicated than a scraped knee or a bruised elbow. But it's also quite possible to sustain a serious injury by falling on a wet or icy surface.
If you hit your head, you may risk concussion, jaw fracture, tooth impaction, chipped teeth, or a lost tooth.
Likewise, common structures around the house or backyard may be a tripping hazard just waiting for an unsuspecting victim. Watch for exposed tree roots, uneven sidewalks, unguarded walkways, or yard debris. Indoors, pay attention to loose tiles, wrinkled carpets and floor mats, and wet spills.
What to Do: Call your Red Deer dentist if you or a family member has sustained a mouth injury after falling. Your dentist will advise you of the best way to save your tooth if it's knocked out or chipped.
To prevent this kind of injury, promptly see to spills on the floor, slick surfaces outdoors (sprinkle gravel, dirt, or ice melt on the surface), or uneven areas (mark them clearly and/or remove trip hazards). You may not be able to stop children from rushing around the house, but you can avoid certain accidents when they do.
2. Food-Related Injuries
Do you know someone who likes to chew ice? If so, prepare yourself for the possibility of a cracked tooth. Hard substances like ice, jawbreaker candies, or even a hidden pit inside an olive can spell disaster to teeth if they hit the tooth in a certain way at meal or snack time.
Even a stray popcorn kernel at the movies can do a number on your teeth, so be careful with what you put in your mouth.
Hard foods are the easiest food-related ways to crack a tooth, but sticky substances can be just as bad when it comes to tooth injuries. Sometimes a chewy caramel or piece of taffy can be strong enough to pull a filling right out of the tooth itself. If you or a family member already has a mouth full of fillings, your teeth will be more susceptible to cracking.
If you have lots of crowns and veneers, be careful about biting into the bones of those chicken wings you enjoy in front of the television.
What to do: If you or your child have cracked a tooth or pulled off a veneer while eating, put the chipped tooth or veneer in a clear plastic bag (not a napkin that can be thrown away) and bring it to the dentist's office with you.
You can avoid this type of dental injury by gently testing a piece of food without clamping onto it aggressively. If it's too hard to bite, either suck on it until it's soft enough to chew, or avoid that food item.
3. Damaged Teeth from Sports or Rough Play
Have you ever wondered why your son's baseball team requires you to sign a waiver? Mouth injuries are a big reason. Those waivers may protect the coach or sporting association, but they don't protect players' mouths. Here's a partial list of common sports-related injuries that affect the mouth and teeth:
- Broken teeth
- Jammed or loose teeth
- Dislodged teeth
- Tongue or gum damage
What to do: Call your Red Deer dentist promptly if any of the above injuries occur during sports or rough play at home. Your dentist can evaluate the situation quickly and recommend appropriate action.
Meanwhile, you'll avoid a great deal of trouble by ensuring that your child wears the proper gear for his or her sporting activity. Insist on the right padding, helmets, and—above all—mouth guards tailored to each sport.
Your dentist knows you can't avoid all mouth injuries. After all, those trees are waiting to be climbed, and accidents are a part of life. But now that you know a few of the most common oral injuries, you'll have a few more strategies for making those accidents happen a little less.
And that's something everyone can smile about.