Your kids probably love to be active. They likely love sports. Many patients at Scaffidi Orthodontics in New Orleans, Kenner, and Slidell play sports like football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and the like. Others enjoy rugby, wrestling, and cross country. Involvement in sports brings several advantages into a kid’s life. Being on a sports team teaches kids how to be part of something larger than themselves. On a team, they learn how to put others ahead of themselves. They fulfill a particular role for the betterment of the entire team. Sports come with inherent risks, and can lead to orthodontic emergencies. Here are a few tips on sports safety for kids’ mouths’.
How Often Do Kids Get Hurt Playing Sports?
According to data from Johns Hopkins, roughly 3.5 million kids under 14 get hurt each year during sports-related activities. These kinds of injuries are the results of falls, collisions with other participants or objects, or overexertion. Some of these injuries will be to the face and/or mouth. And it stands to reason that there would be. Anytime you have human beings exerting at full force during a competition – injuries are likely. A study published in Sports Health by Young, et al. indicated that the most common dental injuries in sports were:
- Tooth and crown fractures
- Intrusion: a tooth driven deeper into its socket, and the bones beneath it
- Extrusion: a tooth displaced out of its socket
- Avulsion: a tooth completely knocked out of its socket
- Temporomandibular joint dislocation: part of the jaw bone moves out of proper placement
If one of your children does suffer one of these injuries, remember that the team at Scaffidi Orthodontics knows exactly what to do. Many of our team members are parents. And we play sports too. We’ve seen each and every kind of mouth injury you can think of (and probably some you can’t). Should your little athlete suffer a dental injury, we’ll know exactly how to help.
Do I Need To Stop My Child From Playing?
Suppose your child is currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. You made an appointment. Our team took digital scans and X-rays of your child’s teeth. Depending on their needs, Dr. Scaffidi might have fitted them for Invisalign clear retainers. Or, he might have suggested metal braces, ceramic braces, or In-Ovation braces. Alternatively, some patients might be at the stage of wearing a retainer. None of these orthodontic interventions will prevent your child from playing the sports they love.
There’s no need to pull your child from the field. Keep them in the game. Cheer them on and motivate them to do their best. Sports are fun, and they make for wonderful learning experiences that can shape kids into better adults.
So What Can I Do To Protect My Child’s Teeth?
If there is some inherent danger in sports, and you’re going to let your kid keep playing, what do you do? Data from the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that 99% of parents believe that their children should be required to wear mouthguards to play. But only 37% of that surveyed group said that their children actually wore mouthguard while participating in sports.
Persuading your child to wear a mouthguard might seem like a daunting task. If you’re currently reading this, you may have already had several conversations with your young athlete about this exact topic. Nevertheless, Scaffidi Orthodontics encourages patients at our New Orleans, Kenner, and Slidell locations, to invest in mouthguards. While we’re happy to provide corrective interventions for injuries, mouthguards are usually much more affordable.
How Do I Know Which Mouthguard To Pick?
When it comes to mouthguards, you have a few options. Before you select one, make a point to speak with Dr. Scaffidi. He can advise you on which specific mouthguard would work best for your unique situation.
This is the kind of mouthguard you’re most likely to find. It’s designed to fit just about any set of teeth. An additional advantage is that these kinds of mouthguards can be found almost anywhere. Furthermore, they are cheap. So any budget should be able to cover them without much of a problem. Bearing that in mind, this mouthguard is also the least effective. Because it is not tailored to your child’s unique bite, it might not fit as snugly against the teeth as other options. Better than nothing at all, but keep in mind that there are more protective options available.
Boil And Bite Mouthguards
Boil and bite mouthguards are a step up from pre-manufactured mouthguards. You might also hear them called “mouth-formed” mouthguards. You should be able to find them in most online retailers or in sporting goods stores. Generally, you’ll boil water and put this mouthguard into the water. After a few minutes, you’ll remove the mouthguard from the water. Let the mouthguard cool. Next, you’ll bite down on it. Your teeth will create a mold in the thermoplastic material. Remember to read the instructions and follow the manufacturer’s guidance on proper use. If you wear braces, talk to Dr. Scaffidii about fitting this kind of mouthguard over them.
If you’d like a custom-made mouthguard, Dr. Scaffidi can make one for you. Our teams in New Orleans, Slidell, or Kenner will take impressions of your teeth. Based on those impressions, we will design a mouthguard, especially for you. Because you’ve involved us, you can rest assured that this will be the best – and only mouthguard you will ever need.
Select Scaffidi For Sports Safety!
Still have questions about sports safety for your young athletes? Visit us here to schedule a free consult.