See that picture with the broken, front, adult tooth? That’s my son! Just minutes before that was taken he had a beautiful set of intact teeth. Well...not anymore.
Yesterday, we learned first hand what happens to your teeth when you play "touch" football with your brother without a mouthguard! Somehow, my two boys collided while chasing each other around the yard, and the end result was not pretty.
I didn’t know what to think when my kids came frantically running up to me in tears, when just seconds beforehand they were happily playing. However, I’ll never forget how shocked I was when they stood in front of me sobbing, and I realized what had happened. There was not a lot of blood, so immediately I was able to see that about 80% of my 10 year old’s tooth was GONE. My poor little boy lost his front adult tooth, just a couple years after we waited so patiently for it to come in.
Unfortunately it was after 5pm so bringing him over to the dentist’s office was not an option. So, I called the dentist on call and he made us an appointment with the endodontist first thing the following morning. As a pediatrician, I learned a little about dental trauma, so I knew right away this was not going to be straightforward and would require the expertise of a couple different specialists.
The next morning my son got to experience what most adult’s dread...a root canal! Following that, we went to the prosthodontist’s office where we heard some good news. He thinks that he can reattach the part of the tooth that broke off (amazingly my boys found the piece that broke off and I kept it moist until the appointment). He sent us home with a follow up appointment in a week. For now, my son is walking around looking like a NHL player.
The moral of this tale is a very simple one...WEAR A MOUTHGUARD! It doesn’t matter if you’re in the backyard playing pick up football with friends or competing in a high school game. It just takes a second for a ball or a part of someone else’s body to hit you in the wrong place and cause a serious injury.
My boys have surely learned their lesson. In addition, I have learned mine. It really is my responsibility, as their mom, to be sure they are as safe as possible when they go out and play. Providing them with the protective gear they need to keep injuries at bay must be a top priority.