For millions of families across the United States, sports are a huge activity that takes up a large portion of their time. Extracurricular activities such as recreational and competitive sports are a good way for youth to build good interpersonal skills, teamwork, conflict resolution, and a strong work ethic. Many studies have proven the benefits of youth sports, so there is no denying that sports are great for many families. However, studies also show that more than 3 million teeth are lost each year due to youth sporting participation. Other serious dental issues, injuries, and trauma are also caused by involvement in contact sports.
While most people tend to think of football as the “ultimate contact sport,” any sport with some type of contact poses a risk to your child’s smile. Swinging bats and sticks, balls flying in the air, elbows and knees, pucks flying off the ice – anything that could come into contact with your child while participating in a sporting activity poses some type of risk. Many times, the enjoyment and rewards are worth the risk, but it is necessary for parents to remember to protect their child’s teeth and smile in sports.
All sports require specific equipment and gear; even if your child is simply running track, you will still need to invest in a good pair of running shoes and comfortable socks. When it comes time to purchase all of the equipment that your child needs for his/her sport, please do not forget a mouthguard. This is a vital piece of equipment that protects the teeth and the entire smile. A broken or missing tooth can cost thousands of dollars to repair, and serious dental trauma can cause permanent damage to your child’s smile. The average cost for an over the counter mouthguard is around $20, and the average cost for a custom mouthguard is $300. While the price of a custom mouth guard may seem high, it is a small fraction of what it would cost to repair trauma inside the mouth.
At Thousand Oaks Dentistry, we want to help you protect your child’s smile. Your child only gets one smile, and it takes precaution and prevention to keep it healthy and complete. Contact our dental practice to learn more about the options available for your child. Remember, a mouthguard should be a standard piece of equipment for protecting your child’s smile.