Sep 11, 2012 12:54 PM by Marissa Torres
No one wants to get their teeth knocked out, but that's exactly what you're risking when you hit the field without protection.
"We actually had a bull rider come in.. lost 6 of his teeth, totally shattered off the gum line," says Dr. Fred Guerra of Guerra Dental.
Turns out that bull rider isn't alone. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation says more than 3 million teeth will be knocked out in youth sporting activities this year. For that reason, Dentists like Dr. Guerra say a mouth guard should be the number one protection equipment in any sport, even if it isn't a contact sport like football or hockey.
Dr. Guerra says he's seen athletes of all kinds show up with chipped or broken teeth. The best prevention is a mouth guard. Most drugstores sell a one size fits all, that's not always the best route to go.
"The problem is, they're not custom fit, they don't provide any of the anti-concussive effects, prevention that one made in the dental office would [provide]," says Dr. Guerra. "In the dental office, we're making a mold of your mouth."
Mouth guards are also beneficial in sports like weightlifting and golf. They not only prevent teeth from wearing down, but also act as a cushion to all the bones in your face.
If your child does suffer a broken or cracked tooth, you'll want to see a dentist within 24 hours. If a tooth is knocked out, you generally have about 30 minutes to get in back in, depending on the damage.