Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting a tooth knocked out

The comedian David Brenner used to joke about his mother saying, “Don’t do that—you’ll break your neck!” He would then say, “We were never scared. We knew kids with broken arms—but never a broken neck.”

But kids also get teeth knocked out various ways.

Stephen Mitchell, DMD, associate professor at the University of Birmingham Dept of Pediatric Dentistry, says baseball and basketball the biggest danger to tooth loss in kids. Teeth and even jaws can also get broken in these sports.

Up to one-third of all sports injuries are to the face and mouth.

Women and girls, too!

Mouthguards and helmets with face protectors are the best line of defense.

If a kid’s permanent teeth are in, a guard can be made that will allow the kid to talk. Still some baby teeth? A guard is a waste of money.

If a tooth gets all the way knocked out, you have 30 minutes to get to the ER and stick it back in.

Avoid touching the root. If it’s dirty, wash it with milk. No milk? Don’t clean it.

Milk provides the root some nutrients.

Jaw injuries can be subtler—a chin cut or especially hard hit could mean a broken jaw. The child needs medical attention within 24 hours.

Even after an injury, gentle tooth brushing is a must! The cleaner it is, the better it heals.

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