When Sports Hurt Smiles: Cosmetic Dentistry for Athletes

You probably know that if you play contact sports or ride bikes, you need to wear an athletic mouthguard. However, when the boys (or girls) pull together an improv football game, you may not have your gym bag in the car. Facial and dental injuries are common in many sports, ranging from karate to hockey to soccer. If you chip a tooth, you don’t have to go to Monday’s morning meeting looking like Jim Carey.

For children and adults, cosmetic dental bonding can quickly repair a chipped tooth. The natural-looking restoration is applied in a single dental visit, and bonding is tinted to match tooth enamel. The result is that only you and Dr. DeFinnis know about the sports mishap.

In some cases, a porcelain veneer is a better option than dental bonding. Veneers are handmade ceramic shells that fit over the full front surface of a tooth. They, too, are tinted to match existing teeth, so they look totally natural. One primary benefit of veneers is, they tend to last much longer than bonding.

Should you knock out a tooth during the game, gently dust it off and try to insert it into the socket. If that doesn’t work, place it either in your mouth, between your cheek and gum, or in a cup of milk. Alternately, you can spit into a baggie and submerge the tooth in your saliva. You can rinse your mouth with water. Hold a clean cloth against your gum where you lost the tooth, but don’t rub or scrub the area. Both your tooth and the socket have an exposed nerve. If re-inserted in time, the tooth may heal. Call our office immediately so that we might do our best to salvage the tooth. If the tooth won’t heal, Dr. DeFinnis can replace it with a dental implant or bridge.

Playing sports is a wonderful way to stay in shape – but be careful. No matter what athletic activity you prefer, take care of your teeth by wearing a mouthguard and know what to do in case of a dental emergency. Call Back Mountain Dental at 570-763-4360 if you need immediate assistance or if you have a tooth with an old sports injury. As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. DeFinnis will give you back your winning smile.

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