Summer is a time for getting outside, playing, and having fun! But with more activity comes a higher chance of injuries- including dental injury. While it is great to make the most of summer and be active outdoors, it’s also a great idea to be prepared for what to do if you find yourself with a dental emergency.
Sports or Activity-Related Injuries
The warm summer weather is a popular time for recreational sports and other outdoor activities. Traumatic dental injury can happen whether competing in formal leagues or just playing at the local park. Even pools can be dangerous due to slippery areas. Here are some common activities that can result in dental injuries:
- Team Sports
- Playground Injuries
The most important tip when it comes to dental emergencies is that prevention is key. It is far better to avoid an emergency from ever happening than to endure one once it does. There are precautions that you can take to make sure you and your family members are less likely to suffer a summer dental emergency.
During team sports, wear a mouthguard. Contact sports, those that involve projectiles such as pucks and balls, and sports with equipment that can accidentally make contact with the face should all be played with an abundance of caution. This includes the use of mouthguards to protect your teeth. Even when participating in solo sports, consider a mouthguard for extra protection.
Even though you might not think of it, helmets can help protect the head and face from impacts. Especially when participating in extreme sports, a full-face helmet should be a non-negotiable. Helmets are not only essential to protecting from traumatic brain injury, but they also protect against facial and dental injuries.
Enforcing the Rules
It may seem boring, but being careful and following basic safety rules is paramount to keeping your smile safe. Simply enforcing rules such as “don’t run by the pool” can prevent serious injury.
Using Teeth as Tools
Using teeth as tools can sometimes be an impulsive habit that you don’t even think about. Unfortunately, trying to open a bottle with your teeth, or using your teeth as tools in other ways, can be quite damaging. Other than to potential for sudden traumatic injury such as cracking a tooth, biting on something hard can wear away enamel. Avoid making this mistake, and educate your kids that they should not use their teeth in such a dangerous way.
Breakdown of Dental Hygiene Habits
Lack of structure in the summer can mean that normal routines go out the window. This can include brushing and flossing habits, as well as forgetting to schedule regular dental exams. In addition, summer may mean an increase in sugary treats like lemonade, popsicles, and ice cream. Make sure you and your family don’t forget to take good care of your teeth over the summer, including when you are away on vacation.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Even if you are careful, dental emergencies happen. Getting treatment as soon as possible is usually the best course of action.
If an adult tooth is knocked out, you can attempt to put it back into the socket and immediately seek dental care. If you cannot reinsert it, to protect the tooth, keep it moist by wrapping it with a wet towel (water or milk can be used) or keeping a tooth preservation emergency kit on hand.
If your child loses a baby tooth because of an injury or accident, it is still a good idea to visit the dentist to make sure a piece of the tooth does not remain in the socket.
You will want to make an appointment and see your dentist as soon as possible, so a cracked tooth does not become worse. You can rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any debris and use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or other cool compress to ease swelling.
Emergency Dentist Visits
At Tomkins Dental, we are experienced in treating dental emergencies. But remember that regular dental exams keep your smile healthy and strong and can help you to avoid emergency situations. Schedule your checkup today!