If You Play Sports, Be Prepared For This Dental Emergency

You never know when you might end up losing a tooth. But if you (or someone in your family) plays sports, then it pays to be prepared. In addition to sports like football and hockey, remember that falling from a bicycle or dirt bike, taking a tumble from the top of a cheerleading tower, or being hit by a baseball could all cause a tooth to be knocked out.

A knocked-out tooth is a time-sensitive issue; in fact, it is considered a dental emergency. If a tooth is taken to a dentist quickly, it can often be put back in place. But after just a few hours, the chances of the gum taking back the tooth plummet, and you're looking at a bridge or implant. That's why it's a good idea to have a plan in place for what you'll do in the event of a tooth being knocked out.

Know Where To Go

You should have a rough list in your head of the first, second, and even third places you'll try to go as well as when they're open; putting this list on paper is even better as it can be easily shared and you're sure not to forget.

Your first choice should be your own dentist. If you call them during normal business hours, they are likely to be able to see you immediately. If they can't or it's after hours, the second choice is an emergency dental clinic. At the end of the list would be the local emergency room. They are open 24 hours a day, but they may have to contact an on-call dentist and wait for them to arrive.

Put Together A Transportation Kit

The best way to transport a tooth to the dentist is within the mouth itself, either underneath your tongue or gently held in its own missing place. But it's not always possible to hold a knocked-out tooth in place in your mouth; it may be too painful or you may worry that you'll swallow it. Because of this, it's a good idea to have a small transportation kit to bring to sporting events.

In fact, there's only one thing you really need for the kit: a small, clean, lidded container to carry the tooth in. There's no need to bring water because you've actually already got the best liquid for transporting a tooth: the owner's saliva. If this sounds too gross, know that milk is another option – if you can find it where you are. Since milk goes bad quickly, however, it's impossible to make it a part of the kit itself. For more information, contact a dentist.