Summer is a great time to do fun and exciting things. You have a variety of activities to choose from, including everything from water sports, to camping, and to backyard football. Unfortunately, each activity presents us a variety of ways to injure different parts of our body, especially our teeth.
While our teeth are robust, they are still susceptible to injury. This is especially true if we don’t take good care of them. While proper dental hygiene helps, it still will not protect you from severe impacts that could potentially break your teeth.
Read below to learn about the various teeth-injury risks associated with summer activities. We will also show ways to protect your teeth and reduce the risk of injury. Finally, we will go over ways you can take care of your teeth in the event of an injury during your summer fun.
Swimming is great exercise and fun to do with friends. While swimming is enjoyable, it presents a number of ways to injure our teeth.
If you swim a lot this summer, you could get a discoloration in your teeth called swimmer’s calculus. Basically, when you exposed your teeth to the various chemicals of a pool for a long time, those chemicals bond to your teeth. You can also break your teeth swimming by running into a wall or being hit by an elbow.
You can reduce the risk of injury in swimming by taking simple precautions. Wear goggles all the time so you don’t run into anything while underwater. Be mindful of your surroundings, and make sure people know where your face is so they don’t hit it. Also, if you play a sport like water polo, you should use a mouth guard. And if you have swimmer’s calculus, a simple dental cleaning can remove it.
Going out on the lake or ocean can be a great way to spend time during the summer. While it can be exciting to go out on a Jet Ski or go wake boarding, the high speeds of water sports create special risks for our teeth. You only need to take a few precautions to keep your mouth safe.
If you hit the water at high speeds, you can crack or knock out your teeth. You can also develop temporomandibular joint disorder, a painful jaw injury. These injuries can be easily prevented by wearing a helmet or a mouth guard. These can protect you even at higher speeds, allowing you to fully enjoy going out on the water.
Most contact sports have known dental injury risks. A few games, like football, even require mouth protection. However, when you are playing with a few friends you are just as much at risk, even when you are wearing less protection.
This is especially true of soccer. When we think of soccer, we don’t really think of a contact sport. In fact, soccer players are some of the most at risk when it comes to dental injuries because of the lack of protection. Soccer balls often fly to the face, and accidental collisions between players can also result in dental injury. You can easily prevent serious injury by simply wearing a mouth guard.
What to Do if You or Your Child Has a Dental Injury
Talking about how to prevent injuries is of little use when you already have one. A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth is painful and alarming. If this happens, remain calm and take steps to make sure you don’t risk your chances of repair.
Here are some tips to increase the chances of saving your tooth.
- When the initial injury occurs, assess the extent of the damage. Watch for dizziness, vomiting, bleeding, blackouts, and fatigue. These symptoms could indicate serious problems like a concussion or head injury. If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, get to an emergency room quickly
- Examine the teeth when a head injury occurs. If blood comes from the mouth, see if the blood comes from a tooth. Use ice to reduce pain and swelling and gauze to absorb any blood.
- If you’ve knocked out, cracked, or chipped your teeth, then you should go to the dentist within an hour. Take a pain reliever and rinse your mouth with salt water to help heal the wound. You increase the likelihood of saving your tooth by holding it in your mouth, in the actual socket if you have lost a whole tooth, or in a glass of milk. Doing so prevents decay and makes a repair easier.
You can have a lot of fun during the summer. While a mouth guard or a helmet may not seem fun with certain activities, they prevent unfortunate accidents that make fun activities sad and tragic. Use these tips to keep a dental emergency from interrupting your summer today.