My son is playing on the hockey team for the first time. I knew it was a semi-dangerous sport, but he begged to get to be on the team. Today was the first time I have had the courage to watch them practice. The other moms were very nice and tried to be encouraging, but they all keep with them something called “Save a Tooth”. I will tell you this didn’t bring me much comfort. Is this something that works? Is there a way to not even need it?
I am going to go on the assumption that your son’s coach insists all of the players wear sport’s mouth guards. If he doesn’t, that is your first and best layer of protection. Get your son a sports guard. This will help absorb the shock of any hockey pucks that land on his mouth.
As for Save a Tooth. I think it is a valid product. When a tooth is knocked out, you generally only have about 30 minutes for your best chance to save the tooth. It is the condition and health of the ligament that usually determines that. While we tell a patient in a dental emergency like that to keep the tooth moist, we don’t want them cleaning off the tooth. Whenever a patient has cleaned off a tooth, we were unable to permanently save it. Usually, we ask them to place it in a cup of milk.
However, with Save a Tooth you will have a better chance. First, it is made with a balanced salt solution that will help to keep the ligament in an ideal environment. In addition to that, it keeps the tooth from being jostled too much. If there are a lot of these type of injuries on your son’s team, I think it will be worth your investment.
The last time I checked, it was about $20 stand-alone. Well worth the cost in high-risk situations. Bear two things in mind. First, it has a shelf life of three years. If he’s going to be playing hockey longer than that, make a note to replace it in that time. Second, it says it can keep a tooth viable for 24 hours. I would not stand by that particular claim. What I do think it will do is give you an hour or two extra, that is plenty of time to call the dentist and get there.
One other piece of advice. Call the dentist on the way. This way they can be prepared for your son when you arrive, increasing his chances of a successful outcome.
This blog is brought to you by Parma Ridge Dentist Dr. Rebecca Gecovich.