I have more than one friend whose kid has knocked out an adult tooth. When a tooth is knocked out we say it has been avulsed. I just checked the online definition for avulsed. Eww, lots of nasty things can happen to the human body; apparently not only teeth, but also ears and nails can be avulsed.
It seems children are far safer today than we ever were. When I was a kid bike helmets and seat belts were just not worn (and we wrote in cuneiform script). In a couple more decades I’m sure children will have to be bubble wrapped before they can be sent to grade school.
So at the risk of adding more layers of safety gear to already helmeted, and belted children I’m going to talk about how these two kids I know might have saved their teeth had they been wearing mouth guards. Most people know to wear athletic mouth guards while boxing or playing hockey, but these kids I know lost teeth due to bicycle accidents. Is it overkill to have kids wear a bicycle helmet and a mouth guard? I don’t know. I am starting to think I should wear a helmet and mouth guard as I walk around the house; those floors are slippery!
My friend’s 11 year old who wrecked his bike, and lost an adult tooth, had an odd bit of luck. The child’s head and jaw were X-rayed after the accident, and they found a lesion in the jaw that would probably have gone unnoticed otherwise. Good thing they caught it so early; it’s operable.
So really three things I want to get at:
Wear a mouth guard whenever your face will be at risk of running into, or being hit by, hard objects.
Get regular dental X-rays. You never know what might be lurking undetected.
And if you should find yourself with an avulsed tooth carefully pick it up by the enamel, (so you don’t contaminate the roots) put it in a cup of milk, and get to a dentist within an hour. There is also a solution that you can buy to hold avulsed teeth. While I doubt most parents need to keep this handy it might be a good idea for coaches to keep it in their first aid kit. And if you have a kid whose nickname is Crash or Trip, maybe you too should keep some of this on hand. http://www.saveatooth.com.
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