Protecting the teeth of a prep athlete can save a smile

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Sports injuries – most parents and athletes are concerned about concussions, but few consider the impact of a head blow on the teeth. With a little protection you can preserve that smile. I know firsthand since my son became a statistic … three days into the soccer season he lost both of his front teeth!

They kick the ball with skill – but few kick around the idea that their teeth may be in jeopardy.

Cameron Kleinberg, lost teeth on soccer field: “I got head butted, and my two front teeth came flying out. Surprisingly enough I caught them.”

Teeth in hands, as a junior, after years wearing braces … His perfect smile was gone in an instant.

Cameron Kleinberg: “It was pretty brutal. I had to get 16 stitches. It wasn’t fun.”

The high school athletic trainer did exactly what he was supposed to do – inserted the teeth back into the sockets to preserve blood flow.

Dr Michael Stosich: “Take the tooth, clean it with either a saline mix or cold milk, and try to replant the tooth if it’s entirely evulsed. Or get to an emergency room and have them take care of it.”

Sadly even then, there are risks the teeth will never stay in place.

Dr Stosich: “The prognosis at the time was about 10 percent that they would actually hold up.”

An emergency bracket to hold the teeth temporarily, multiple root canals and then the need for braces again.

Dr Stosich: “They’ve held up. We’ve completed his orthodontic care in 8 months. The teeth are stabilized, there’s no resorption of the root and everything is looking really good

Orthodontist Dr Michael Stosich says Cam’s case is not the norm and it’s a problem he sees all too often, as people rarely see the threat of sports on oral health.

Dr Stosich: “Last year there were over five million sports injuries. Half of all adolescents ages eight to 10 suffer from some sort of tooth injury while playing sports.”

This simple plastic mouth guard could change the playing field, protecting the teeth and head on impact.

Dr Stosich: “The mouth guards they do absorb some of the shock, they prevent injuries to the joints. They’ve also been shown to reduce the severity of concussions as well, so mouth guards are fundamental to protecting you.”

So nine months after his injury, as Cameron got his braces off, Dr Stosich immediately took impressions to get him fitted him for a mouth guard. Cam is pretty sure he’ll be the only one on the soccer pitch wearing one.

Dr Stosich: “A lot are unfortunately embarrassed. I hear that a lot. They get on the pitch, team mates make fun of them. It shouldn’t be like that. It’s a safety measure just like you put your safety belt on when you go to the car.”

Cameron Kleinberg: “I’ve never seen a kid besides me wear a mouth guard. Wearing one is kind of weird, but at this point I just want to be safe. Even though you wouldn’t expect it to happen in a sport like soccer, it can. I didn’t expect it, and I’m sitting out there on the soccer field with my teeth in my hand.”

And just as his teeth are now firmly in place back in his mouth – Hayden Deslauriers begins his journey with hopes for similar success after his tooth was jammed during a football training drill in the gym.

Hayden Deslauriers: “They had to do oral surgery on mouth. They didn’t know if they could save the tooth. They yanked and pulled.”

But giving up the sport he loves is not an option.

Hayden: “I’ve been playing since 5th or 6th grade.”

Hayden knows a mouth guard may have prevented his injury and the cost and discomfort of treatment. Now – with his new braces just put on this week — the goal is to use word of mouth to spread the news.

Hayden: “I think mouth guard should be worm in any workout or sport where something is hitting another thing because you never know. The mouth guard will protect your teeth.”

Custom mouthguards cost about 350-dollars. Right now, Dr. Stosich says he is so concerned about having young athletes wear them, he is offering free services for the mouthguards at his practices in the north and northwest suburbs.

For more information, call (844) 644 SMILE or got to 



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