While you have likely worn a helmet while biking to protect against head injuries and knee and elbow pads to protect against joint injuries, you might not have given much consideration to the prevention of common mouth injuries. Mouth injuries are all too common among people who play sports, but there are also other causes of injuries to the mouth. These five tips will help prevent common mouth injuries that could damage your teeth, tongue and soft tissues.
Wear a Helmet
Helmets not only protect you from brain and upper spinal cord injuries, but they can also help protect you from common mouth injuries like getting a front tooth knocked out during a fall. Always wear a helmet when doing activities like biking or rock climbing. You may be surprised to learn that head and mouth injuries are common in other sports too, including sledding and skiing. Be sure to choose the right type of helmet for the activity you’re doing.
Wear a Mouth Guard
Sports like wrestling and boxing often require participants to wear a mouthguard, and for good reason. Mouth injuries such as dislocated or broken teeth are common to these activities. You should also wear a mouth guard when engaging in extreme sports such as zip lining, sky diving and skating. You could have a qualified dental clinic like the Brantford Mall Dental Office create a custom fit mouth guard for you if you’ll need one of these dental appliances on a regular basis. Or, you can select one off the shelf from your local pharmacy if you’ll only need to use it on rare occasions.
Wear a Safety Belt
No matter whether you’re the driver or a passenger, always wear your safety belt when traveling in a motor vehicle. The safety belt helps protect you against mouth injuries such as lacerations, a broken jaw or chipped tooth in the event of an accident. The seat belt also helps to hold you in place so the air bags can cushion you from impacts involved in high speed crashes.
Don’t walk around with anything in your mouth. This includes walking while brushing your teeth. One unseen object on the floor can cause you to trip and fall, and the item within your mouth could cause a puncture injury. These types of injuries are often serious and can damage your tongue, gums, teeth, palate or tonsils.
Avoid Sharp Objects
Keep sharp objects out of your mouth. If you have a nervous habit of chewing on pencils, try to stop. Chew on gum instead. The wood in the pencil could splinter and cause injuries to your tongue, lips or gums. Avoid chewing on ice also, as the hardness of the ice could chip one or more of your teeth or damage any dental restorations in your teeth.
Most common mouth injuries are preventable. Those that do occur usually heal on their own without the need for treatment. If you have severe pain or persistent bleeding, call your dentist or doctor.