Three Tips to Prevent Mouth Injuries
Active kids are healthy, happy kids. Unfortunately, though, active kids are also at risk for mouth injuries. Kids who play sports risk chipping, cracking, and even knocking out a tooth.
Many people mistakenly believe that only high contact sports, such as football and hockey, present a major risk for mouth injuries. However, baseball and basketball players ages 7 to 17 are the most likely athletes to suffer a sports-related oral injury. Similarly, over 50% of dental injuries in kids 7 to 12 years of age happen while riding a bicycle! Clearly, parents and coaches need to take steps to help prevent such injuries in our children and to avoid an extra trip to the dentist.
Preventing Sports-Related Mouth Injuries
The good news for parents of young athletes and active kids? Parents and coaches can take three easy steps to help prevent mouth injuries:
1. Use Custom-Fit Mouthguards
The most important protection parents can offer their children is a mouthguard made by a pediatric dentist. Unlike boil-and-bite mouth guards available in stores, custom-fit guards leave no gaps in coverage. In addition, they offer better cushioning protection because they are typically twice as thick as store-bought mouthguards.
2. Create a Culture of “Safety First”
Parents and coaches can make safety gear mandatory. Likewise, they can stress at practices and active outings safety rules, and include the benefits of protective mouth gear in those discussions. If everyone has to be safe, then your child is more likely to want to follow the rules!
3. Be a Good Role Model
Parents and coaches can set the stage for good habits through modeling good behavior, and this situation is no different. When kids see adults wearing helmets and mouth guards, they now the concerns are real for everyone. As a result, they are more likely to comply with wearing protective gear themselves.
If you have more questions about protecting your child’s mouth during sports and other activities, give us a call!
Dr. Laura, Dr. Rachel, and team would love to discuss with you how a custom-fit mouthguard could benefit your child. Call our office (330) 425-1885 to schedule a consultation today!