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Dr. Roges is the director of the Urgent Care and Dental Trauma Clinic at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and is also the team dentist for USC Trojan athletes. He is an endodontist – a dentist who specializes in treating the tissue inside teeth – and is an expert in treating traumatic dental injuries.
“There are lots of dental injuries that can happen at school,” Dr. Roges says. “Not only are there sports injuries, but kids can also fall on the playground, have a bike or skateboard accident, or get in a fight.”
The most common kinds of mouth injuries are loosened, broken or knocked out front teeth and cuts on the lips and gums, he says. However, injuries can also cause teeth to be pushed too far into the gums or make moving the jaw painful. In some cases, a dental injury can lead to a serious infection.
If a child hurts their teeth or mouth, acting fast will help protect their smile, Dr. Roges says.
If a tooth is broken or knocked out:
Wearing a mouth guard during sports and other activities is important for preventing these kinds of painful mouth injuries, Dr. Roges says.
Moldable mouth guards can be purchased from drugstores or sports stores. Dentists can also make custom mouth guards that fit very well and stay in place during use.
“During school time, there are a lot of very active kids,” Dr. Roges says. “It’s best to prevent these injuries in the first place.”
The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC offers low-cost dental care to children and adults, including urgent care. To learn more, please visit dentistry.usc.edu/patient-care or call (213) 740-2805.