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Highland Life / News / NHS Highland / Saving the smiles of sports players

Saving the smiles of sports players

Issued: 12 Jun 2008

NHS Highland is launching a tooth trauma kit to help minimise dental injuries and protect teeth from accidents on the sports field.

Research has shown that a high proportion of dental trauma occurs whilst playing sport. As part of National Smile Month the tooth trauma kits will be offered to all secondary schools and physical education departments before being rolled out to primary schools.

The kit is being launched at a shinty tournament where primary pupils from every school in Highland have been invited to play. The winning teams will compete at the Inverness Highland Games in July.

Each tooth trauma kit is contained in a labelled and sealable plastic box and will include: disposable tweezers, cotton wool balls, saline solution, mirror, and latex free gloves. In addition it will contain an instruction booklet explaining how to use it and providing the NHS 24 and the NHS Highland Dental Helpline number. It will also highlight the benefits of wearing a mouth guard when playing sport.

The trauma kit has been developed by NHS Highland in partnership with the Highland Council.

Oral Health Promoter for the Mid Highland Community Health Partnership Miranda Moodie said: "Our goal was to create a kit that promotes awareness about preventing dental trauma and protecting teeth from injury. We think that these kits will be received positively and ensure that help is available quickly and hygienically if they're unlucky enough to have an accident."

Speaking prior to the tournament Ronald Ross, Highland Shinty Development Officer for the Camanachd Association, said: "I've been playing shinty for over 25 years and although I've never been hit in the teeth I know that accidents can happen. Many players are now encouraged to wear gum shields and all children under 14 wear helmets; we see the tooth trauma kits as another step in ensuring that our young players are looked after and cared for whilst participating in the sport of shinty."

Highland Council's Active Schools Co-ordinator for Glen Urquhart High School Matthew Maciver has organised the tournament. He said: "The purpose of this competition is to raise the profile of shinty and help encourage more children to be more active more often."

"This tooth trauma kit is a fantastic resource for any club and for anyone involved in sport. It will help educate coaches and players and explain to them what they need to do in the unfortunate event of a tooth injury. A lot of people probably don't even realise that you can save a tooth."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme