Apart from the physical health benefits, youths engaging in sports can attain several benefits. These include better performance at school, enhanced confidence, and stronger inter-personal relationships.
However, participating in sports can also leave kids vulnerable to injuries, including those related to the teeth. Injuries related to sports account for about 39 percent of dental injuries reported by dentists. On top of that, 80 percent of these injuries involve the front teeth. In order to minimize or totally avoid sports-related teeth injuries, an NY dentist offers a few invaluable tips.
One of the most important pieces of dental equipment that teens can invest in is a quality mouth guard that offers protection for the teeth, gums and cheeks. It does not matter what sport you play – if it involves any form of contact, you must wear a mouth guard.
The best type of mouth guard is one that is custom-made by a dentist as this offers better protection as compared to those that can be bought from sporting goods stores. The second best type of mouth guard is the boil and bite mouth guard. This mouth guard is placed in boiling water until it is soft enough for the user to bite on it. After that, the mouth guard can be molded to fit the wearer’s mouth.
Mouth guards should be rinsed and air dried after each use. Occasionally, the mouth guard can be washed using water and soap or mouthwash. When not in use, the mouth guard should be placed in a plastic container. After some time, you should make sure to check your mouth guard and look for signs of wear, cracks or even poor fit. If you own a custom mouth guard, your dentist can adjust it.
For sports with a greater amount of contact like boxing, hockey and lacrosse, it is advisable to wear proper face protection.
Now, if you have suffered a tooth injury due to sports, a dentist can still save your tooth if it gets knocked off. If the conditions are right, a dentist can re-implant a tooth that has been knocked off. However, if the injured player is a young child, re-implanting a knocked off tooth is inadvisable. For a chipped tooth, cosmetic bonding may be the best answer. Should you or your child suffer a dental injury due to sports, immediately contact your dentist for the best possible solution. And again, remember that prevention is always better than the cure.