Protect Those Pearly Whites When Playing Sports
Connor definitely wore mouth protection during football, but you would be surprised in how many sports mouth guards are recommended!
As your child begins to play sports, the battle of the mouth guard will begin. There are several sports that require mouth guards, like football, lacrosse and hockey but a mouth guard should be used any time there is a risk that a child will hit heads, take a fall, or have head or mouth contact with other players or sports equipment. Over fifty percent of mouth injuries actually occur in basketball and baseball. So, sports like football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey , skateboarding, and even gymnastics are sports that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry http://www.aapd.org/recommends mouth guards be used. Mouth guards are like the use of bike helmets, if the use starts early, and there is no negotiation, it becomes an expectation and a habit.
Mouth guards actually protect more than just teeth. They protect the lips, cheeks, tongue and even help protect from head and neck injuries. Many concussions occur when a child’s teeth hit together when there is a sudden jarring. The mouth guard protects against this. Research shows us that most mouth and dental injuries occur when playing a sport when a participant is NOT using a mouth guard.
Any mouth guard is better than none at all! There are several that you can choose from. Most sporting goods stores will have plastic boil to fit models. Choose one that fits well in your child’s mouth and is comfortable. Many pediatric dentists will also custom make mouth guards for patients. These are more expensive, but are often more comfortable and work well over braces.
Start early, make wearing a mouth guard a must when your child plays sports! This is a battle worth picking!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.