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Playing it Safe During Youth Sports

As your children begin to play organized sports, tooth damage becomes a real concern.   In one of our earlier posts we touched briefly on what to do in case of a dental emergency. Today we are going to discuss how to prevent some of these emergencies from occurring while your child is on the team. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that in any given year, over three million teeth will be knocked out during youth sporting events. And most parents, while perhaps not aware of this staggering number, has had either one of their children or one of their children’s friends lose a tooth or teeth due to a sporting accident. But even with this being such a common occurrence, almost 75 percent of all parents and coaches do not require mouth guards to be worn. Surveys conducted by the NYSSF have determined that on average tooth damage occurs sixty times more often in unprotected players.

Mouth guards are relatively inexpensive and often when purchased in bulk for a team, the cost is even less. A proper fitting mouth guard doesn’t impede speaking, breathing or swallowing and since mouth guards hold the teeth in the place, they also provide stability to the jaw. For children who wear braces, special guards can be customized by the child’s dentist or orthodontist.

Contact sports including hockey, soccer, football, baseball and karate and then solitary activities such as skateboarding, all should be enjoyed with a mouth guard in place. In most of these sports other protective gear such as knee pads and helmets are required so why not make sure your child’s teeth are adequately protected as well?

Have additional questions about protecting your child’s teeth? Please contact Ellis Dental today for more information.

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