There is almost always a significant risk of dental trauma when it comes to kids playing a variety of sports or if they’re running around the playground, riding their bike in the neighborhood, or playing ball with their team. Kids at play are simply susceptible to falling, colliding with objects or each other, or being hit accidentally by balls or other types of sports equipment.
The most common childhood dental injury is chipped teeth. If your child chips a tooth, take the fragment with you to the dentist, if you’re able to find it. Even if the tooth can’t be repaired with the missing piece – and in many cases, it can be – any dental injury should always be evaluated and treated promptly to reduce the chance of infection or the need for more extensive treatment.
Wearing a mouth guard that is properly fitted can help protect teeth during most activities and, in many cases, can minimize or even eliminate dental injuries entirely. That’s why they are strongly encouraged, if not mandatory, in most sports, such as basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, football and gymnastics. By the same token, parents should consider them for other activities like biking or skating, especially for beginners.
Soft plastic mouth guards will protect not only a child’s teeth, but also lips, cheeks and gums and may reduce the force that can cause concussions, neck injuries and jaw fractures. There are a variety of mouth guards available, and each type or brand varies in regard to comfort, protection and cost.
Todd McAdams, D.D.S.
420 Rocky Knob Lane, Fayetteville, (931) 433-5794