Oral injuries happen all too easily when playing sports, especially in high-contact sports like football, basketball, and hockey. Whether it’s direct impact from a ball or another player, or due to a fall, mouth injuries are inconvenient yet preventable with the use of mouth guards. Even so, many parents say that their child never wears a mouth guard while they are participating in their sports – during practices, games, or recreational play. If they realized how essential they are to their children’s health, they might start to consider it a vital part of their athlete’s safety gear.
A mouth guard is one of the most inexpensive pieces of protective gear for most athletes. This is especially true when compared to the cost of restoring a broken or knocked-out tooth that is the result of an athletic injury. Costs to treat one knocked-out tooth (over a lifetime) could be upwards of $5,000. When this is taken into consideration, parents may be more likely to opt to protect the teeth to start with.
Most parents know that mouth guards are important to use in sports such as football and hockey, where injuries, in general, occur fairly regularly. However, they may forget that sports like basketball and baseball also have their risk for oral injuries, whether from a stray elbow or a flying ball. Even sports in which there is little to no contact with other players, such as gymnastics or skating, come with their risk for oral injury. No matter the sport, the American Association of Orthodontists encourages all players to wear a mouth guard, during practices and games.
Parents may be met with some resistance from their young athletes about wearing a mouth guard during every game and practice. In fact, some parents may think that it is more difficult to get their child to wear a mouth guard than to eat all their vegetables (without complaining). Even if this is the case, it is important for adults – parents and coaches – to emphasize the importance of mouth guards. New advances in dental technology have created products that are both affordable and easy to wear.
If your young athlete needs a new mouth guard, make an appointment at Rossland Landing Dental Care to have one custom-made.