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How many times have you heard this story about Dental Injuries and Protruding Front Teeth?  A young child goes for a fun day out at the play park.  Then it all ends in tears because he whacks into something, teeth first.

I have been called out on many occasions. To pick pieces of teeth out of a child’s lip, splint loose teeth, stem buckets of tears, and explain to a distressed mum the future implications of the dental injury.  Everyone’s day is ruined.

A recent international study on traumatic dental injuries produced a staggering figure: 235 million people are currently living with the effects of a traumatic dental injury to their front teeth.  Furthermore, this can be partly or totally attributed to increased overjet (protruding front teeth).  Upper front teeth that protrude 3mm or more beyond the lower front teeth are at least 2 times more likely to be involved.  In fact, if they protrude more than 9mm, then the risk of trauma is 12-fold.  Almost inevitable!

If your child has prominent front teeth, you should do something about it sooner rather than later.  If your child’s lower lip is trapped behind the front teeth at rest, then your child is at highly elevated risk of injury.  Combine that with being male, and playing contact sports, then you have the highest risk.

What can be done? 

A mouth guard for contact sports is a great start!  But to solve the problem of protruding front teeth, it is crucial you seek the advice of a dentist or Specialist Orthodontist at an early stage (7 or 8 years of age).  Although we do not always recommend early treatment. A plate or braces may be recommended to reduce the protrusion of the front teeth. In combination with lip training or advice on digit-sucking.

In summary, traumatic dental injuries are horrifically common, and they usually happen to young children with protruding front teeth.  The child will often spend the rest of their lives dealing with the fall-out from the injury.  All children need to wear a mouth guard for high risk activities. 

And, since prevention is always better than cure, see a Specialist Orthodontist.