According to the American Dental Association, at least 13% of all injuries to the mouth occur during sports activities. While helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, and the like do a great job of protecting most of the body, Dr. Hawkins would like to make sure that every athlete knows how to keep their teeth safe from harm. No Midlothian parent should have to worry about their child’s teeth during the game, so at Hawkins Family Dentistry we would like to talk about how to take sports safety to the next level.
Mouth Guards and Sports Safety
In Midlothian, we live for a good game. Our athletes train hard to win, so it’s not hard to imagine why they don’t shy away from contact. However, that doesn’t mean that your family has to suffer the consequences of a sports-related oral injury. Mouth guards are the key to oral safety in sports.
When to Get a Mouth Guard
Let’s say your child has decided to sign up for a high school team, or maybe you’ve joined a local Midlothian league. Now you’re wondering - do I really need a mouth guard? Does my child need one? More often than not, the answer is yes. Dr. Hawkins reminds us that an oral sports injury can cause anything from a swollen lip, to a chipped, broken, or knocked out tooth, to severe tissue damage. Mouth protectors provide a buffer, substantially reducing the risk of harm from an impact. Some research even suggests that mouth guards help protect against concussions. Here are some surprising facts about mouth guards and sports safety:
Although schools only require mouth guards for football, lacrosse, field hockey, and ice hockey, basketball and baseball have the highest occurrences of dental injury. To add to that, there are more than 29 sports for which the American Dental Association recommends the use of mouth protectors. Here at Hawkins Family Dentistry, we want everyone to have a healthy, protected smile, so make sure to give us a call if you have any questions about the need for a mouth guard.
Finding the Right Mouth Guard
Dr. Hawkins would like every Midlothian resident to know that sports safety extends beyond just using a mouth guard. In order to have maximum protection, your child or teen needs to wear a properly-fitted mouth protector during games and practices. Most mouth guards cover only the top row of teeth, but Dr. Hawkins may recommend coverage for both rows under certain circumstances. A mouth guard should never make breathing or speaking difficult. In addition, mouth guards should be resilient, tear-resistant, and fit comfortably in the user’s mouth. Below are the three main types of mouth protectors:
Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call! At Hawkins Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing the best dental care in Midlothian and that means making sure that all our athletes are protected!