Preventing dental injuries in your kids teeth is of paramount importance when you’re a parent. The National Institutes of Health says 30 million children and teens are involved in sports in this country, and more than five million knocked-out teeth occur each year to the tune of $500 million in dental care costs. Common dental injuries that happen in sports include anything from tooth fractures to extrusion to temporomandibular joint dislocation. Knowing this, you may decide it’s easier to just keep your kids in a bubble. But while you can’t exactly anticipate or prevent all of these potential injuries, you can be prepared for them. Check out these tips:
Use a mouth guard: As your first line of defense against sports injuries to the mouth, these guards are imperative. No, they can’t prevent every type of injury, but they’re the best option we have at this time. They should fit properly so as not to affect speech or the ability to breathe. Even kids with braces should wear mouthguards, which they can get from their orthodontist. Everyone else can use a custom mouth guard, which adheres to the shape of the teeth when you boil it in water first so it becomes pliable. Mouth guards don’t just keep teeth from getting knocked out. They can prevent cuts on the tongues and lips too, particularly if your child wears braces.
Try a face cage: Some sports require the use of a face cage, such as with hockey goalies or baseball catchers. These can prevent trauma to the face by blocking flying objects such as balls and pucks.
Wear a helmet: These will guard against concussions due to impact. While they don’t primarily protect your kids teeth, they do protect the head and support the jaws, and most come with an attached mouth guard.
Properly store and clean your orthodontic appliance: If your child wears a retainer or headgear, make sure they don’t use these appliances when playing sports. They could slice the skin or mouth if hit by a ball, for example. It’s always a good idea to keep retainers and other orthodontic appliances clean. Also, make sure your child knows to store it in the proper container, never a tissue, which could get thrown out. While we’re on the subject, heed these tips for keeping your kids teeth safe.
- Remove headgear and wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
- Don’t eat hard, sticky or crunchy foods.
- Don’t pull on your braces or pick at them.
- Use orthodontic wax on sharp ends of wires to protect your cheeks and gums.
- Store the appliance in the proper case it came with.
- Clean your mouthguard or orthodontic appliance regularly.
Follow the above safety tips to keep your kids safe AND avoid unnecessary dental bills.
Call Gary Demetriou DMD today at 978-794-0010 for more tips on avoiding dental injuries from sports in your kids teeth. Or, feel free schedule a regular cleaning appointment. Don’t hesitate to call us if you experience a dental trauma.kids teeth