An estimated 3 million teeth are knocked out annually during youth sporting events. It’s that time of year again when your kids are heading back to school and are excited about joining their favorite sports teams. But, when you think of what they need for school – pens, paper, calculator and such – is aRead More

 

by

on August 1, 2015

Protect your smile when you’re going for the goal!

An estimated 3 million teeth are knocked out annually during youth sporting events.

It’s that time of year again when your kids are heading back to school and are excited about joining their favorite sports teams. But, when you think of what they need for school – pens, paper, calculator and such – is a mouth guard on the list?

The mouth and face of a child or young adult can be easily injured, especially when proper precautions are not taken when participating in sports or recreational activities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 7 million sports- and recreation-related injuries, and more than half of those injuries are sustained by children as young as 5 years old.

Last year, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events. They also reported that athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth! Yet, in a survey commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists, 67 percent of parents admitted that their children do not wear a mouth guard during organized sports. But, if mouth guards offer a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to help dramatically decrease the risk of oral injuries, why aren’t more kids wearing them?

This same survey found that 84 percent of children do not wear mouth guards while playing organized sports because they are not required to wear them, even though they may be required to wear other protective materials, such as helmets and shoulder pads. Not only do mouth guards save teeth, they help protect jaws. So even if they’re not required, it is an important tool to have.

An effective mouth guard holds teeth in place, allows for normal speech and breathing, and provides a high degree of comfort and fit. It should cover the teeth and, depending on the patient’s bite, also the gums.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association offer the following tips to prevent or minimize injury to athletes:

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person’s jaw, mouth and teeth, and are significantly less expensive than the cost (and pain) to repair an injury.
  • Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
  • Wear protective eyewear and a face shield to avoid damage to eyes, the delicate bones around eyes, nose and jaw.

If you do suffer a dental injury and knock out a tooth, make sure you find the tooth (avoid touching the root) and call your dentist immediately. Try and keep the tooth as clean as possible and store in milk if you can. Most teeth can be re-implanted if cared for properly and are re-implanted quickly, and your dentist will have all equipment and necessary materials needed to treat dental injuries.

Be proactive this season when you head out to play recreational and/or organized sports! Your dentist can recommend the best mouth guard for every sports activity and will help properly fit it to your mouth to prevent accidents and traumatic injuries to your teeth and jaw. So, remember to play it safe on the field so you can shine your smile when you win!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Dr. Craig Spodak is a third generation dentist who joined his father’s practice in Delray Beach, Fla. after graduating from Tufts University in 1998. His dream was to change the way patients experience dental care and he developed a new vision for the modern dental practice with a goal to deliver comprehensive dental care in a singular, all inclusive practice. He created one of the world’s only LEED Gold Certified dental facilities, which boasts not only a team of the finest dental and medical professionals from all disciples of the field, but also a holistic environment that comforts patients. Dr. Craig is an expert lecturer for Invisalign and Spodak Dental Group is one of the few Top 1 Percent providers of Invisalign in the world.


You Might also like

Spodak Dental Group

How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

If you are diabetic, or know someone who is, you know how debilitating diabetes is for the body Not only is it a stress on bodily organs, including eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart, but the disease can also cause oral health issues. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and is a great time to shineRead More

Sterilization Spodak Dental Group

Do I Need LANAP?

Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease but don’t know exactly what that means? Dr. Tiffany Dudley is here to help! Dr. Dudley is dedicated to helping patients educate themselves about the disease and also which treatment options are available, so together they can make the best choice moving forward.  What is Periodontal Disease? PeriodontalRead More

Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t “Snooze” Sleep Apnea

For many people, getting a good night’s sleep is something that happens naturally and without a second thought. You’re tired, you fall asleep, enjoy sleeping, and wake up rested and ready to tackle the day. For other people, sleep isn’t restful at all. While they might think they’re getting the sleep they need, they areRead More

Five Reasons to Schedule a Cleaning Appointment Before School Starts

While this school season is a bit different because of the coronavirus (Back to school? Virtual schooling at home? A combination of both?) it’s still important to keep up with your child’s cleaning routine! So when you’re planning for school clothes, reading lists, pencils and sports gear, make sure to schedule a dental cleaning, too. Read More

When is the Best Time to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you’re a teenager or 20-something, summer months might be the best time for traveling, relaxing or getting a head start for the next school semester. But, it’s also the best time to get your wisdom teeth removed! Not only can seeing your dentist during the summer months be a proactive measure that can saveRead More

Straightening teeth Spodak

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

You see your smile every time you look in the mirror or glance at a picture of yourself, and think about your smile whenever you eat a meal or introduce yourself. To say that “your first impression is key” is an understatement, so how do you feel about yours? We understand that you want yourRead More