Like many NHL players, Brent Burns is missing a few teeth. He has lost three playing hockey and a fourth he says is barely hanging on. "Many casual fans might assume all players are missing a few teeth — not true — but there is far more interest in keeping the originals than there was in the 1980s, a time Kings coach Darryl Sutter recalls seeing players writing their numbers on coffee cups, putting their teeth in the cups and setting them on a shelf before games.
"The joke was switching teeth around," Sutter said with a sly grin."
The only way the NHL is able to prevent more tooth loss is to mandate players to use a full cage face mask. But in the NHL that isn't going to happen any time soon.
"Dental care is one of the progressive moves made by the NHL, according to Predators general manager David Poile. When Poile was an administrative assistant for the Atlanta Flames in the early '70s, he said, he doesn't recall the team even having a dentist.
"An oral surgeon who can also do plastic surgery is ideal," added Pronger. "I had a nice set of teeth. Now, I've got new ones. And, I broke my jaw and you probably can't tell I had 50 stitches here and 27 there."
A few tips in case a tooth gets knocked out- don't wash it in water. Put the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva, or keep it safe under your tongue. Get to your dentist ASAP! If your dentist can see you within 30 min there is a good chance the tooth can be replanted.