Protecting your children’s teeth in sports saves them future dental problems and saves you money. It costs parents about 20 times more to replace their children’s tooth versus making sure they wear a mouth guard, helmet or pads. Besides a costly emergency, the American Dental Association warns that losing a baby tooth prematurely could cause crooked teeth and lead to eating problems. Find out steps you can take to ensure your active kids can compete safely in the sports they love.
Reasons for Protecting Your Children’s Teeth in Sports
We often laugh looking at those smiles our children flash with a big gap in their front teeth when their permanent teeth start emerging. But it’s no laughing matter when those front teeth get knocked out playing soccer, football, softball, lacrosse or even skateboarding.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports seven million injuries every year to athletes as young as 5 years old. Meanwhile, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation predicts about three million youth get teeth knocked-out in sporting events annually. While the statistics are alarming, the right athletic gear prevents more than 200,000 injuries a year, research shows.
Protecting your children’s teeth in sports with a mouth guard, helmet and pads remains critical, sport and dental experts agree. Eating problems, crooked teeth and other future costly dental work could result, if precautions go ignored.
Safety Tips to Protect Your Young Athletes
All kinds of protective athletic equipment come with the games your children play. One of the most important in protecting their teeth — the mouth guard. These run the gamut costing $5 to $150 or more depending on the type. There are stock mouth guards that come in small, medium and large sizes or guards you boil in water and then bite down on to fit your teeth better.
More expensive options also exist. A vacuum-formed mouth guard entails a dentist taking a dental impression of the mouth and then fabricating one to fit. Serious athletes use pressure laminated mouth guards. Custom made by a dentist, these mouth guards are thicker and protect against oral injuries and even concussions.
Helmets and pads effectively prevent a knocked-out tooth and jaw or head injuries, too. This equipment absorbs the impact from hard falls and hits. For example, helmets cut potential ski and snowboard injuries in half. Skateboard helmets have shown to improve protection, not only to skateboarders, but to those who like to bicycle and rollerblade, as well.
Finally, stress to your sports-crazed child the importance of safety first. Take it a step further and help teach them proper safety techniques in whatever sport they enjoy. Remember, young athletes carry a higher risk for sports-related injuries.
Orange Beach Dentistry is Here to Help!
Win or lose, avoiding a toothless grin results in the best outcome in our book. However, you can call Orange Beach Dentistry anytime, if your child does suffer a dental emergency and requires immediate care. We prefer, though, that your child stays on the playing field, not in our dental office. Call us today to make an appointment for your children’s next regular treatment!