You Can Enjoy Airsoft without Ruining Your Teeth!

Did you know that airsoft can damage your teeth, resulting in chips, cracks, and even tooth loss? This means some expensive repairs will be needed.

When one of your teeth gets hit by a BB, even a plastic BB, it can chip or crack a tooth. But even though it’s easy to put on a steel mesh mask to protect your teeth, some people choose not to spend the $10-$15.

The most common dental injury that happens is a broken tooth or fractures, a chipped or cracked tooth, or the worst, the complete loss of the tooth.

Our teeth are known to be the hardest bones in our body, but unfortunately, they are still prone to breaking or fractures just like any other bone. Now when your teeth get hit by an airsoft BB accidentally and it chips, you will then rush to your dentist and see how it can be fixed, right?. The dentist will have to evaluate thoroughly how mild or severe your cracked tooth is before offering you a treatment plan. The best treatment is always the most conservative treatment possible.

What is conservative dentistry? It is a treatment process whereby a minimum of healthy tooth structure is removed during the restorative process. Minimally invasive procedures conserve more of the original, healthy tooth structure. (George Freedman, in Contemporary Esthetic Dentistry, 2012).

Most of us are fairly concerned about our physical appearance, and we don’t want to see chipped front teeth every time we smile or talk. What are the treatments available when dealing with chipped or cracked teeth? When there is just a small chip on the tooth, a simple polishing or no treatment can be done. If it is an average-size chip and root is still intact without any nerve or pulp damage, a composite restoration or crown will bring back its original appearance. But, when a patient’s complaint is a high sensitivity when exposed to hot or cold beverage or any stimuli causing pain (dull, intermittent, pulsating, throbbing, etc.), most likely, there is nerve damage. Nerve damage is trauma involving the pulp. Depending on the severity and extent of the crack, dentists will have to recommend and perform root canal treatment immediately. Otherwise, the tooth may have to be extracted.

In summary, available treatments are composite restorations (etch and bond + tooth-colored resin, polishing), PFM crowns (porcelain fused to metal), Veneers, Root Canal Treatments with post and core (to support and strengthen the tooth structure after root canal treatment). Finally, if there’s no way to save the natural tooth, and it must be removed, fixed bridges and implants are used. When a tooth is fractured vertically all the way to the root or split into two from severe trauma, there is often no choice but to remove the tooth.

steel mesh mask

Try to contemplate these questions before you go to the airsoft field:

  • How much would it cost to buy a steel wire mesh face mask to put over your mouth for protection when playing airsoft, compared to putting your face and teeth at risk?
  • How much time would you have to spend going to a dental clinic to treat chipped or cracked teeth?
  • How much pain would you be in?
  • How many hundreds or thousands of dollars are you prepared to pay for repairs and restorations?

You have a choice. It’s easily available, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Spend the money to make sure you just have fun, and you are well-protected while playing!

Remember, your natural teeth are always better than having artificial ones. Take care of your healthy teeth with proper safety gear and enjoy airsoft too! You can actually do both without compromising.

Dr. Myrill Carter is an associate dentist who is currently practicing family dentistry.