Sports are great for children for a variety of reasons. Children can develop their motor skills, learn how to solve conflicts and work together, and develop their work ethics. As a parent, you may recognize the benefits of sports, but also naturally be concerned about your child's health and safety. Your job goes far beyond providing a water bottle and making sure that your child follows the rules of the game.
Although your kid's smile may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are considering their sporting activities, accidents are common and can affect your children's teeth for the rest of their lives. A stray hockey stick, an errant basketball, or a misguided dive after a volleyball are a few examples of the different ways that a child could possibly lose a tooth. In fact, studies show that young athletes lose more than three million teeth each year.
Becoming a better athlete or mastering the skills to compete at an elite level are not just about winning. They are also about safety. Young athletes who are better ball-handlers and who are careful to avoid fouls and penalties are less likely to have harmful contact with the ball, teammates, or other opponents. Children who are better roller-bladers are less likely to take a face plant into the blacktop, and more likely to save their teeth. Being a good sport and avoiding unnecessary contact is also another way to protect teeth.
If your child is in a sport that poses a high threat to teeth, it is essential for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards fit your child's mouth and consist of soft plastic. If your kid resists wearing a mouthguard because it is uncomfortable, a custom mouthguard can be fabricated at our office for a very affordable cost. The education about the importance of wearing an appropriately fitted moughguard is the parent and coach's responsibilty. Remember, your kid's natural teeth are irreplaceable!