Summer Sports and Your Child’s Teeth: Mouthguard Smarts

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Your teeth are a precious commodity and you want them to last you a lifetime from when they come through in childhood and into your later years.

To do that you want to find a way of protecting and looking after your teeth while still being able to do the things you enjoy such as playing sports. Children can be prone to damaging their teeth if they are keen sports enthusiasts, which is why you need to to be proactive and use mouthguards.

A dental plan can help with the cost of any remedial treatment needed, and you can learn more about it from Carefree Dental, but you should also take steps to try and protect your teeth from damage when participating in a variety of sports.

The perils of contact sports

When the sun comes out to play, this is when many people start to take part in numerous different activities such as football, baseball and even fun sports like ultimate frisbee.

These are just a few examples of what can be described as contact sports and most who take part are often aware of the inherent dangers associated with taking part in a sports activity where contact with an opponent or object is likely.

Whilst a fair percentage of us are therefore acutely aware of the perils of contact sports, it seems that we may be more at risk than we realize on certain activities, which we might believe pose less of a danger to our teeth and bodies in general.

A good example of this is illustrated by the Academy of General Dentistry, who suggest that someone playing soccer is more at risk from injury than a player taking part in a football game.

The thinking behind this is that everyone knows just how dangerous a football game can be and for this reason, all the players are required to wear helmets and safety padding, giving them good protection for their mouth and jaw as well as some vulnerable bones in their body.

Soccer players are subsequently more likely to be at risk of damaging their teeth as they could experience an impact incident during the game, without having any protection like a mouthguard to protect their mouth and gums.

The case for mouthguards

The point to take on-board is that you should think carefully about any sport you or your child is taking part in where there is a potential risk of some sort of impact, so that you can arrange for some suitable protection such as a mouthguard.

Skateboarding is a good example. Your child may be a competent skateboarder and pretty good at getting around unscathed, but there is always the unpredictable waiting to turn a seemingly harmless spill into a damaging accident.

The same logic applies to a variety of other sports where you may not initially think that a mouthguard is either appropriate or even necessary.

Riding a bicycle can present a danger to your mouth and gums if you suffer a spill and this is especially true if you have a child who is into BMX racing or you like hitting the mountain trails. The message is clearly to expect the unexpected, and even if you are not participating in what you perceive to be a contact sport or dangerous sporting activity, it is better to be safe than be sorry.

Unexpected dangers

If you don’t want to be booking an emergency dental appointment to fix some missing or broken teeth, it would be wise to think about using a mouthguard in a variety of different sporting situations, even when you don’t think the risk of injury is that high.

A great example of another sport where you don’t think you are going to be at any real level of danger of damaging your teeth, is surfing.

A classic summer sport, hitting the beach and riding the waves on your surfboard is a fantastic way of spending a hot summer day with friends and family. One unexpected rogue wave can soon turn that happy day of fun in the sun into a nasty incident, if you get smacked in the face by your surfboard.

Staying on the subject of watersports, you may be surprised to hear that a trip to your local swimming pool could represent a danger to your oral health as well as your teeth.

Diving is an obvious scenario where you could experience damage from the impact when you hit the water or fall unexpectedly, but just swimming in the pool has some issues to consider.

While you might slip or fall at your community pool, you should also be aware that the chlorine and chemicals used in the water can hurt your teeth. Pool water contains a higher ph than saliva, and it can cause salivary proteins to break down more quickly, leaving organic deposits on your teeth.

Practice mouthguard smarts and think about protecting your teeth and gums, whatever sport you or your children enjoy throughout the summer months.

Sebastian Knowles is currently studying at dental school. He is most interested in pediatric dentistry and enjoys writing on parenting blogs, discussing kids teeth and giving tips for parents.

 

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