Parents know best: kids are bundles of energy often searching for ways to release it. One of the most common ways kids find to release their energy is during individual or group sports! And as we all know, with these activities, there comes a little bit of risk.
As part of Children’s Dental Health month, we’d like to celebrate children and their oral health by offering some strategies and precautions to keep in mind for your kids as they begin participating in sports and other activities. All you need to begin is a little bit of education!
Some Sports are Riskier than Others
Luckily, there are precautions you can take to minimize risks. Some sports with higher risk of mouth or head injury are:
- Ball & stick games (i.e. lacrosse, baseball, hockey)
- Martial Arts, Wrestling, and Boxing
No surprises there! So how can you reduce risk of injury for your kids?
Use a mouthguard or a helmet whenever possible!
“To protect your smile, always wear your mouthguard while playing sports!” — Dr. Brunacini
Mouthguards are the easiest, most convenient and affordable way to prevent oral injuries. While there is a chance kids could remove protective items while horsing around, there is great value in teaching them to take precaution. We suggest introducing the idea of wearing protective gear to kids at an early age to make mouthguards & helmets a fun and everyday element of their favorite activities.
In sports like cycling, skiing or skating, there is less chance of colliding with other children, but rather greater chance to collide with hard surfaces like the ground, parked cars, and other inanimate objects so there is still opportunity for injury. In these cases, it’s important for kids to wear a helmet, preferably with a face guard, as a preventative measure. Helmets with face guards are especially key in contact sports like hockey and football.
In some cases, maybe your child can wear both! After all, the cost of replacing a tooth is much greater than the cost of a mouthguard or helmet.
Other Ways to Help Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Teaching children the rules of sports and the risks associated with them can go a long way. Oftentimes, sports injuries can occur because people (of any age) disregard the rules, just want to win, or just plain get too rough.
Also, strengthening enamel early on is important for the rest of your child’s life. Consider enamel-strengthening toothpaste to help contribute to stronger teeth. While it may not directly prevent an injury, stronger enamel can’t hurt your chances!
If you have any questions about getting a mouthguard for your child, we want to know! We’d love to help. And while we hope it doesn’t happen, in the event that your child needs emergency dental care, we are here for you! Call in to Falmouth Dental Arts after hours and we provide phone numbers to call Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos directly to arrange care.