Sports Dentistry focuses on the prevention & treatment of oral/facial injuries that may occur during athletic competition or during the activities of routine daily life. According to the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, up to 40% of injuries to the oral cavity are related to sport activities. Dr. Knight, a member of the Academy of Sports Dentists, www.academyforsportsdentistry.org, has received advanced training in this aspect of dentistry. As well as being trained in treatment & prevention of athletic/dental injuries and complications, he is also an active coach, whose team won the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIFSS) Softball Championship in 2013! Dr. Knight has also received his ASD Team Dentist Certification for service with the US Olympic Team. An award-winning photographer, many of his sports photos have appeared from time to time in the Sports Section of the local newspapers. He continues to be a longtime supporter of Banning/Beaumont youth activities.
TRADITIONAL MOUTH GUARDS
Sports are divided into several categories based on the degree of physical contact. Football for instance, is classified as a collision/high impact sport. Basketball & Soccer, on the other hand are classified as a contact/medium to high impact sport. Golf or Volleyball are considered non-contact/low impact. However, although bicycle racing or skate boarding are non-contact pastimes, they are in fact high impact activities because of the high risk of oral/facial injury should the participant fall. There are several types of custom mouth guards designed to protect an athlete while participating in his or her particular sport. One size does not fit all! Ask your dentist for a recommendation on the type of mouth guard that is best for you.
WHAT TO DO IF A HEALTHY TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT*
Research has shown that when a permanent tooth along with the root has been knocked out, if replanted quickly, it can be retained for life. Follow these steps without delay: Re-implant the tooth immediately if possible. If contaminated, gently rinse with water, hold the tooth by the crown only, insert, and push back into the open socket. Be sure the front of the tooth faces forward (not toward the tongue).
If it cannot be re-inserted and the victim is physically & mentally able, have them hold the tooth in their mouth, under their tongue on the way to the dentist.
If this is not possible, have the individual spit into a cup or plastic bag to the point where the tooth can be submerged in this fluid. It does not matter if blood is mixed with the saliva. Just collect enough fluid to completely cover the tooth until you reach your dentist. Use water for this step as a last resort. Get to your dentist as quickly as possible along with the lost tooth.
* Do not attempt to reinsert a primary (baby) tooth.