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Ouch! My tooth hurts!

Something happened!  What do I do?
Help! I've got a Dental Emergency I should have used my mouth guard!

What are they?  Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and are adapted to fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth.  You need a mouth guard whenever you engage in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment.  This includes sports such football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, and even gymnastics.  According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, although you might think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball. 

Any mouth guard is better than none, but a professionally made and properly fitted mouth guard will be more comfortable and more often worn.  Any mouth guard can help prevent or minimize sports related dental injuries, so get a mouth guard -- and use it!
Note:  The tips on the these pages follow the guidelines set out by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and have been reviewed and approved by a licensed, qualified dentist.  Even so, sometimes opinions may differ on the best thing to do in an emergency situation, so check with your regular dentist for more guidance.  You should always consult your local dentist concerning specific treatment questions and options.

Don't have a regular dentist?  If it's a real emergency, you can always go to the nearest hospital.  They'll most likely have a dentist they can call to come in and help.

In the United States, call the American Dental Association (312-440-2617; or the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (312-337-2169; for an accredited pediatric dentist in your area.

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