Sports are a great activity for children. It teaches them the importance of cooperation and sharing, as well as giving them team spirit. Unfortunately, sports can be dangerous for your little one's teeth. However, that doesn't mean you need to pull your little one from their favorite after school activity. With a little patience and the right tools, you can protect your little one's teeth from becoming injured during a sporting event.
Here are four tips for keeping your child's teeth safe during sports:
1. Utilize Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are perhaps the best method for keeping your child's teeth safe during sports and outdoor activities. A mouth guard is a simple device that is inserted into the mouth. It protects the teeth by covering them in a thick plastic, which prevents the teeth from grinding in the case of facial injuries. You can purchase a mouth guard at any sporting store. However, it may not be very comfortable. If you want your child's teeth to safe—and your child to be comfortable—talk to your family dentist about a custom fit mouth guard.
2. Wear A Helmet
A helmet isn't just important for protecting the face, ears, and eyes. It is also important for protecting the mouth, jaw, and teeth. If your child participates in any heavy contact sports, make sure your child has a well-fitting helmet—and make sure they wear it. If you aren't sure what activities require a helmet, look at your local city/state laws. However, in general you should make sure your child is wearing a helmet during hockey, football, biking, and skating of any kind.
3. Opt For Face Shields
Another option for protecting the face, jaw, and teeth is a face shield. Essentially a thick piece of clear plastic, a face shield protects the entire face from injuries sustained during sports. It is usually worn during hockey, football, and racquetball; however, it can be worn for any sport. The face shield offers full vision, while providing protection; this makes it ideal for many sports. You can find a face shield at most sporting goods stores.
4. Remove Orthodontic Devices
Finally, make sure your child removes any orthodontic devices that they wear on a regular basis. A retainer may help your child's teeth stay straight, but it can cause serious damages should your child suffer an injury during sports. If your child does need to wear a retainer 24/7— or if your child has braces— talk to your family dentist about a custom mouth guard that fits over the orthodontic device your child wears.
Sports are a fun and healthy activity for your child. If you find yourself worrying about your child's teeth during sports and outdoor activities, talk to your little one and family dentist about incorporating these four tips into their routine.