Sports are a natural part of life for almost half of all families in the United States. Being involved in sports and extracurricular activities is a great way for children to develop interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, develop their motor skills, and for them to develop a strong work ethic. Many parents are happy to sign their children up for sports, yet they still worry about injuries and safety and how these pertain to their children in the particular sport in which they are involved. Aside from the head or neck, one of the most serious places to be injured is inside the mouth. Injuries within the mouth can cause serious trauma and long-term damage to a child’s smile, how s/he speaks, chews, and functions daily.
At Smiles by Seese, we understand the importance of protecting your child’s smile during sports and recreational activities. Studies show that youth/teen sports participants lose more than 3 million teeth each year. That is a lot of teeth! Our dental practice wants to help you know how to safely protect your child’s mouth through prevention.
If your child is involved in any type of physical and/or contact sport or recreational activity, it is essential that s/he wear a protective mouth guard; and, if the contact is intense (e.g. football) or if hard objects are flying at your child’s face (e.g. baseball, hockey), a helmet with a face guard is vital. Protecting the entire facial region is important for your child’s health, well-being, self-esteem, confidence, and future. The cost of correcting trauma inside the mouth or replacing a tooth is astronomical compared to simply having your child wear the correct protective equipment.
Prevention is key in so many areas of life. Ben Franklin said it best when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By having your child know that a mouth guard and/or a helmet is a standard piece of equipment and by not backing down and allowing them to forgo wearing it, you are setting your child up for success. It is true that wearing a mouth guard does take some getting used to, but it is well worth it in terms of your child’s health and safety.
Contact Smiles by Seese to learn more.