As fall sets in, your kids’ sports practice is probably kicking into full swing. To fill this sports season with healthy smiles we have some advice to help protect your children’s teeth and mouths as they grow and thrive on the field.
Does Dental Protection Make a Difference?
Absolutely. In fact, sports injuries are one of the most common ordeals that result in dental despair. How common are sports dental injuries? About 13% to 40% of all dental injuries occur while a patient is engaged in athletic activity. And of those injuries, 80% affect one of the front teeth while the tongue, cheeks, and gums are common victims as well.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Little One’s Winning Smile?
Protection isn’t complicated but repairing teeth can be. A damaged tooth can result in missed school, pain, and discourage their winning spirit. Look over our list and make sure you’ve prepared your little athlete for full dental protection before they hit the field.
1. Invest in the Right Equipment
A helmet is a must for biking, football, hockey, and skating. Sports with the risk of impact with any speed pair perfectly with a properly fitted helmet.
A custom-fitted mouthguard can save your child’s smile. Ready-made mouthguards will protect your child’s teeth but when you invest in a custom-fitted guard, that protection is multiplied. Replacing and repairing a tooth can cost about twenty times more than a custom-fitted mouthguard.
2. Gum, Candy, and Sunflower Seeds
The concession stand draws kids in like kittens to catnip. While a treat can help make the experience more memorable, be wary of letting your child run while indulging in one of these. While candy increases the likelihood of cavities, trying to eat candy, chew gum, or suck on candy while running can increase the risk of broken teeth, a bit tongue, or choking.
3. Know What to Do If Your Child Loses or Breaks a Tooth
If your child knocks a tooth out, we (or the nearest emergency endodontist or dentist) may be able to save it.
To increase the odds of saving a knocked-out tooth:
- Handle the tooth gently by the crown. Do not touch the root.
- If the tooth has dirt on it, you can rinse it with water. Do not scrub it or use soap on it.
- Do not wrap it in a paper towel, tissue, or cloth.
- If you’re close enough to get to us within 30 minutes, call ahead and we’ll be waiting. If you’re further away, call the nearest dentist or endodonist and let them know you’re coming.
What should you do if your child breaks a tooth?
- Have your child rinse with warm salt water.
- Apply a cold compress to her cheek outside of the broken tooth.
- Use gauze to soak up the blood.
- Call and make an appointment to see us.
Protecting Your Kids’ Teeth Is Not a Game
Being a gold-medal parent is a tough job, but someone has to do it! We’re happy to serve so many responsible parents and in and around the Buffalo, Minnesota area. While protecting your kids’ precious smiles is not a game, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Everyone’s a winner when you take proper precautions. Be sure to save our number (763) 682-9796 in your phone in case of emergency.
If you have questions about your kids’ dental safety or dental health as their sports season kicks into full gear, give us a call to make an appointment.
Image credit: FlamingoImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus