gum shieldA must for our sporting enthusiasts. Tailored to the individual in a whole host of colours – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Anyone playing a sport which involves physical contact or moving objects e.g. Rugby, hockey, football, should wear a professionally made mouth guard. Specially made, it is a rubber-like cover which fits over teeth and gums, cushioning and protecting them from damage. Custom made mouth guards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and even the brain and also help to prevent concussion and damage caused by a heavy blow.

Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and register the way your jaws bite together – the mouth guard will fit over your own teeth perfectly. Cheaper kit varieties can fit badly and be uncomfortable to wear, they can fall out and even cause choking.

Your custom- made mouth guard may need replacing fairly regularly, depending on your age – if you are still growing, new teeth will come through and move into position so the mouth guard may become too tight or too loose. Your mouth guard will need to be re-made to fit the new shape of your mouth.

What to do if you do knock a tooth out

Firstly, if you can find the tooth and it is clean – put it back into the socket yourself.

  • Do put it straight into a cup of milk or keep it in your mouth
  • Do go to a dentist or hospital as soon as possible
  • Do take painkillers if necessary
  • Don’t hold the tooth by the root, as teeth are surrounded by fragile ligaments which need to be kept intact if the tooth is to be replaced
  • Don’t clean the tooth with disinfectant or water or let it dry out
  • Don’t put aspirin or clove oil on the wound
  • Don’t panic.

The sooner the tooth is replaced, the better the chance of success. If you have not managed to do it yourself, your dentist will put the tooth back. Your dentist may use a dental splint to fasten the tooth against the teeth on either side. In most cases this is successful, and once the splint is removed the tooth is stable. However, you will almost certainly need more treatment in the future.