It may still be hot in Uvalde, but fall is in the air. Just around the corner are a number of things to look forward to: cooler weather, Halloween, and fall sports. If you’re parenting a school-age child, then fall sports may be consuming most of your daily agenda. Whether your child plays for the Uvalde Coyotes & Lobos, the Winn Mavericks, or a local peewee league, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your priority list. What is it?
Noggin First, Mouth Second
When your child loses their first tooth, it’s cause for celebration. Once those permanent teeth come in, however, it’s another story. While concussions are the primary concern of parents, mouth injuries should be a close second. Why? Up to 39% of pediatric dental injuries stem from sports accidents. How can they be prevented? By wearing mouthguards.
So Many Benefits
Some sports require young athletes to wear mouthguards, but even if your child is involved in an activity that doesn’t, you should have them wear one anyway. Mouthguards prevent injuries to a number of your child’s facial structures, including:
Damage to any of these can not only be painful to your favorite young person; they can cause aesthetic imperfections that may harm self-esteem.
Prevention Is Key
Whatever sport your child is in — whether a mouthguard is required or not — you should encourage them to wear one. Think about it: even if your child runs track, all it takes to make them stumble is one loose shoelace. Any harm that comes to your child’s oral structures during adolescence could potentially lead to problems in the future, including misaligned teeth and disorders of the TMJ.
If your child is currently involved in a sport or even considering it, be sure to talk to me about what kind of mouthguard will offer the best protection. From their first tooth to adulthood, I want all of my young patients to be proud of their smiles.