Any Flyers fan who’s seen one of Ian Laperriere’s bone-crunching, blood-spattered blocked shots can guess how painful a knocked-out tooth can be. The 36-year-old forward is famous for taking shots to the face and losing teeth in the process.
Unfortunately, getting hit in the teeth is a risk for even the youngest hockey players. If children’s injuries on the ice lead to tooth loss, here are some helpful tips for addressing the problem.
First, don’t forget that teeth are delicate objects that live in the mouth’s moisture-filled environment. Exposure outside the mouth can cause significant damage.
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Make sure you touch only the top, not the bottoms, of the tooth to ensure that the fragile attached tissue stays unharmed.
According to WebMD, you can gently douse the tooth with water, but do not scrape off that tissue -- the dentist will need it to re-implant the tooth.
If possible, reinsert the tooth back into its socket, where saliva can bathe it.
If the re-implantation is successful, have your athlete apply pressure on the tooth by biting on it with gauze, moistened tea bag, or tissue.
Re-implantation may not work. In that case, keep the tooth in the player’s saliva, whole milk, saline, or, as recommended by WebMD, a doctor-provided “tooth saver” liquid.
For particularly good sports who can’t re-implant their teeth, WebMD suggests keeping their teeth between their gum lines and cheeks until the dentist can help.
Avoid keeping the tooth in water.
Obviously, missing teeth can be the results of larger, more pressing injuries to the face and head. WebMD notes, “In the grand scheme of things, dental injuries can wait.”
They do caution people with tooth injuries to get their teeth back inside their mouths within half an hour.
Mouth guards are important and cost-effective ways to keep your kids’ teeth intact.
Not that we would mind looking like Laperriere.