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The #1 Thing Parents of Young Athletes Must Know!

Dr. Mullally playing soccer in college

During his time at Ave Maria University, Dr. Mullally was goalie for the soccer team.

Being a parent of a young athlete comes with many proud moments but also many stressful ones. This is especially true when your child is involved in contact sports. Every parent dreads seeing their little one, or not so little one, go down with an injury during a game. I think many of us have seen viral videos of athletes breaking or loosing teeth. Here is the #1 thing I want you to know about your athletes so that you will be the parent that is prepared and able to act!

My child suffered an injury to the head/face area, what do I need to do?

This is one of the most frightening occurrences for a parent. Whether it is a football to the face like Marcia Brady from the Brady Bunch or a head to head collision during a soccer match, parents must know what to do to prevent serious dental complications. Firstly, the child should be removed from the game for evaluation. A parent should visually examine the teeth and gums looking for any chipped teeth, moved teeth, missing teeth, lacerations, or bleeding. In this entry I’ll address the most urgent situation and what should be done.

A tooth has completely fallen out!

This is certainly a huge fear for a parent. If a child is visually missing a tooth the first thing to do is try to locate the tooth. It may be on the ground around the site of the injury or it may have been pushed up into the gums. If the tooth is a baby tooth it is not as vital that it be found (although your child may not agree, #toothfairymoney), but if it is a permanent (adult) tooth it is crucial that it be located. Once the tooth is found it should be stored in a special solution. Save-A-Tooth kits (available at our office) should be kept on hand for parents of athletes and coaches. This kit contains a special balanced salt solution that provides the optimal environment to keep the cells of the tooth complex alive.

As soon as the tooth is removed important cells will start to die. This solution will delay the cell death so that a dentist can save the tooth. Therefore, the next step is to immediately get to our office. I will treat the tooth and hopefully be able to place the tooth back into the socket. Time is of the essence! If a tooth is not properly stored within an hour, it may not be savable. So be the parent that is calm and ready to act whether it is your child or a teammate. You can always call our office in the case of any dental injury and I will walk you through what to do.

Call us anytime at (317) 558-9757 to schedule an appointment!

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