Participation in sports has undeniable health benefits, especially with nearly a third of all American kids overweight or obese. Still, lots of athletes — both children and adults — sustain injury to their teeth during play. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that more than 3 million teeth were knocked out in U.S. youth sporting events in 2011. Quick action can save a knocked-out tooth. Here's what to do:
- Rinse the tooth with clean water if it appears dirty. Do not scrub.
- Try to replant the clean tooth in the socket, with the flat surface forward. (If this can't be done, put the tooth in cold water or preferably cold milk.)
- Apply pressure to the replanted tooth for five minutes.
- Rush the injured person to a dentist.
- Get the injured person a tetanus shot within a day or two if it's been more than 10 years since the last one.