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Protecting Your Teeth From Injury While Playing Hockey or Skiing Near Worcester

Posted on: December 18th, 2023 | Categories: Emergency Dentistry

Winter sports enthusiasts in and around Worcester eagerly anticipate the arrival of snowy slopes and frozen ponds for activities like skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey. While these activities offer exhilarating fun, they also come with their share of risks, including dental injuries, which could necessitate a trip to a dentist office like ours in Auburn, MA. Let’s explore the common dental injuries associated with winter sports and provide tips on how to protect your smile on the cold, snowy terrain.

What sort of Dental Injuries Can You Get From Winter Sports?

Winter sports, by their nature, involve high-speed movements and the potential for falls or collisions. Some of the dental injuries from hockey or skiing may not require an immediate visit to the dentist, but others might. Knowing the differences between the various injuries could help save your tooth. Such accidents can lead to various dental injuries, including:

  1. Tooth Fractures: Impact during a fall or collision can result in cracked, chipped, or even broken teeth. These fractures can range from minor cosmetic issues to severe structural damage, requiring immediate attention.
  2. Tooth Dislocation: Sudden impacts can dislocate teeth from their sockets. This condition, known as dental avulsion, is a dental emergency that necessitates prompt care to attempt tooth re-implantation.
  3. Soft Tissue Injuries: Winter sports often involve wearing protective gear like helmets and face masks. However, accidents can still cause soft tissue injuries to the lips, cheeks, and tongue. These injuries can lead to painful cuts, bruises, and swelling.
  4. Jaw Injuries: Severe impacts can result in jaw fractures or dislocations, which can be not only painful but also affect the alignment of your bite.

What Treatment Might a Dentist Recommend for Winter Sports Related Injuries?

The sad truth is that many people do not protect themselves properly while participating in these winter sports, which can result in serious injury. Accidents can still happen, however, even if you do take precautions like wearing a custom fitted mouthguard. If you do sustain a dental injury while participating in winter sports, it’s essential to know what immediate actions to take and the potential dental treatments available:

  1. Tooth Fractures: If you experience a minor chip or fracture, dental bonding or veneers, like the ones offered by our cosmetic dentists in Auburn, may be used to restore the tooth’s appearance. For more severe fractures, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the tooth and restore its functionality.
  2. Tooth Dislocation: In cases of tooth dislocation or avulsion (where the tooth has been completely knocked out), it’s crucial to act quickly. Rinse the tooth gently with milk or a saline solution (do not scrub), and attempt to reposition it in its socket. If re-implantation isn’t possible, store the tooth in milk or a tooth preservation kit and seek immediate dental care. The sooner you receive treatment, the higher the chance of saving the tooth. Make sure to let the dental office you are calling know that you are seeking an emergency dental appointment right away so that they understand the severity of the situation.
  3. Soft Tissue Injuries: Cuts, bruises, and swelling in the lips, cheeks, or tongue may require stitches or topical treatments to promote healing. Consult a dentist or medical professional for appropriate care.
  4. Jaw Injuries: Jaw fractures or dislocations are serious and typically require immediate medical attention. The treatment may involve immobilization, surgery, or other procedures depending on the severity of the injury.
  5. Post-Treatment Follow-up: After receiving immediate care, you may need additional dental treatments, such as root canals, extractions, or dental implants if the tooth has fallen out and cannot be recovered, to fully address the injury’s effects on your oral health and smile.
  6. Orthodontic Considerations: If you wear braces and experience a dental injury, consult your orthodontist. They may need to adjust or repair your braces to ensure continued progress in your orthodontic treatment.

Preventing Dental Injury While Participating in Winter Sports

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Invest in high-quality protective gear such as helmets, custom-fitted mouthguards made by a dentist, and face masks designed specifically for winter sports. Make sure your mouthguard is comfortable so that you are not discouraged from using it.
  2. Proper Technique: Ensure you receive proper training and use correct techniques for your chosen winter sport. This can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and subsequent dental injuries.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Being active in the cold, dry winter air can lead be surprisingly dehydrating. Even mild dehydration can cause some disorientation which could lead to injury. Make sure to hydrate regularly.
  4. Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol impairs coordination and judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Avoid inebriation when participating in winter sports.
  5. Be Prepared for Emergencies: Make sure you know of a dentist near you in Worcester that you could call in the event of a dental emergency. It’s good to have a dentist you know will be in your insurance network and that you can trust to do good work.

Remember that dental injuries can vary widely in their severity, and the appropriate treatment will depend on the specific circumstances. Seeking immediate professional care is critical to minimizing long-term damage and preserving your dental health.

If you live near Worcester and are in need of a dentist due to a dental emergency from skiing or some other emergency, please call us at (508) 832-2171.

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