Playing sports can be a great way for children to stay active and learn valuable life skills such as teamwork and discipline. However, it is important to ensure that children are properly protected during sports activities to prevent injuries, especially to their teeth and mouth. The following are some oral protection options that parents can consider for their children who play sports:
Mouthguards are a popular and effective option for protecting the teeth and mouth during sports activities. Mouthguards are designed to fit over the teeth and provide a cushion against impacts. They can be custom-made by a dentist to ensure a proper fit or purchased over the counter at sporting goods stores. Mouthguards can protect against broken teeth, lacerations to the lips and tongue, and even jaw fractures. Children should wear a mouthguard during any activity that involves contact with other players or hard objects.
Helmets are essential for protecting the head during high-impact sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse. They also offer some protection for the teeth and mouth. Some helmets come with built-in face shields or visors, which can provide additional protection from impacts. Parents should ensure that the helmet fits properly and is worn correctly to provide maximum protection.
Face shields are a type of protective gear that covers the face, including the eyes, nose, and mouth. They are often used in sports such as hockey and football to protect against flying pucks and balls. Face shields can also protect against blows to the face and jaw, which can cause dental injuries. Children who wear face shields should also wear mouthguards to ensure full protection.
Lip protectors are a type of mouthguard that is designed to protect the lips from cuts and bruises. They are especially useful for children who participate in sports such as basketball or soccer, where accidental collisions can occur. Lip protectors are typically made from soft plastic and fit over the lips. They can be worn alone or with a regular mouthguard.
Children who wear braces or other orthodontic appliances should take extra precautions to protect their teeth and mouth during sports activities. A custom-made mouthguard can be made to fit over the braces, providing extra protection from impacts. In some cases, orthodontic appliances can be removed during sports activities to reduce the risk of injury.
Parents should encourage their children to wear the appropriate protective gear for their sport and ensure that it fits properly and is worn correctly. By taking these precautions, parents can help their children stay safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of sports participation.
Contact your dentist for more information.