Now that spring is here, all sorts of youth athletes will be starting practice and playing their hearts out on the field of competition. Sports that start in the spring include baseball, soccer, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and more. If you are a coach or trainer, you should be aware that the young people in your care may be subject to dental emergencies at any time during practice and games. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe, so it’s a good idea to keep certain items on hand in addition to your usual first aid kit to deal with injuries specific to the teeth and mouth. Parents who frequently attend games and practices may also want to keep a dental emergency first aid kit on hand, or pack one in their kids’ athletic bags.
At American Dental, we want young people to stay safe while they play sports this spring. Here are our suggestions for some items to include in your dental emergency first aid kit:
- Gauze Pads – These can be used to control bleeding from a bite to the tongue or cheek. You can also use gauze if a tooth becomes dislodged. The best thing to do in this situation is gently rinse the tooth with water, reinsert it into the tooth socket (be sure not to touch the root during this process) and bite down gently on a clean gauze pad to keep it in place until treatment can be administered.
- Medical Exam Gloves – These will prevent anyone administering aid from coming into contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
- Tweezers – If a tooth becomes chipped, tweezers make it easier to pick up the chip without contacting the root pulp. Tweezers can also be used to put a dislodged tooth back in place; just be sure never to touch the tooth root during this process.
- Dental Mirror/Flashlight – These two items will make it easier to see inside the mouth, if necessary, to spot injuries that may not be immediately visible.
- Floss – Can be used to remove food or other objects stuck in between the teeth.
- Instant Ice Packs – An ice pack can reduce swelling in case of a blunt force injury to the face or jaw.
Many of these items will be included in a general first aid kit, and you can add the more specialized items, like a dental mirror, to be more prepared for dental injuries.
Emergency Dentistry in Chicago, IL
Injuries to the mouth, teeth, and gums are serious and should be treated as soon as possible. For example, your chances of saving a dislodged tooth are greatly improved if you receive treatment within 30 minutes of the injury. If you are a coach, trainer, or parent of a student-athlete in Chicago, we suggest you keep the number for your closest American Dental location on hand at all times. We offer emergency dental care in Lincoln and 7 other Chicagoland communities.
Call (773) 729-6040 to receive prompt care for dental emergencies, and feel free to call or schedule an appointment online for any other dental services you may need in Chicago.