16. June 2011 06:00
With kids playing more organized sports than ever before dental trauma is becoming a more prevalent issue. Statistics show that the primary reason for tooth loss for people under 35 years old is athletic trauma, fights or accidents. While we as parents would love to wrap them in bubble wrap to prevent any accidents, let’s look at a very simple step we can take to put the odds in their favor.
The first line of defense is an athletic mouthguard. A proper fitting mouthpiece significantly reduces the chances of tooth damage. Obviously some sports mandate their use by rule while others don’t. In my opinion if a sport puts you next to bodies pushing and shoving you need a guard. I can’t tell you the number of accidents I have had to deal with from soccer, basketball, and even baseball players. A few dollars spent can not only save your child the pain of dental trauma, but also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
A mouthpiece custom made by your dentist is far superior in fit and protection to those “boil and bite” types found at Wal-Mart or Sports Authority, but they are more expensive. As the dentist for the Cincinnati Bengals, I see first- hand the advantages of this type of protection. But if the $150 to $250 for that type is not in your budget, the store brand is better than nothing.
An incident of permanent front tooth damage or loss unfortunately creates a lifetime of dental procedures, maintenance, aesthetic challenges and potentially significant expenses.
So do yourself and your children a favor.