What sport do you think causes the most dental injuries with kids? If you guessed football… you are right. The ADA estimated that faceguards and mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college football alone. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states the children between the ages of 7-11 are the most susceptible to injury. When all is said and done, it is up to parents to ensure their kids are protected during practices and games. Especially at a younger age, train kids of the importance of wearing mouthguards when they are older and on their own.
At Papandreas Orthodontics our goal is to ensure parents and patients are well informed when it comes to the importance of wearing a mouth guard during any type of contact sport to protect their beautiful smile over a lifetime. Once adult teeth erupt, there are no second chances. Wearing a mouthguard can make the difference between losing or fracturing a tooth which requires a lifetime of dental repair or owning your own pearly white smile.
During orthodontic treatment, teeth are much safer when splinted together with brackets and wires to absorb the impact or shock. However, an orthodontic mouthguard is recommended to protect a patient’s lips and cheeks to reduce discomfort caused by the braces.
7 Facts About Dental Sports Injuries:
- An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard
- Every athlete involved in a contact sport has about a 10% chance per season of an injuring to their jaw or teeth. Or a 33-56% chance during an athletic career
- An American Association of Orthodontics survey found that 84% of children do not wear mouthguards while playing organized sports. Because they are not required to wear them, even though they may be required to wear other protective materials, such as helmets and shoulder pads.
- A properly fitted mouthguard reduces the chances of sustaining a concussion from a blow to the jaw as well as protecting teeth. A stock mouth guard which is bought at sports stores without any individual fitting provides only a low level of protection in comparison to a customized mouth guard
- According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, baseball triggered the most injuries within the 7 to 12 age group and basketball was the most frequent sport associated with dental injuries among 13 to 17
- A large national survey found that bicycling was the most common consumer sports activity related to dental injuries in children
- Mouthguards should be worn at all times during any type of organized contact team sports or non-organized contact sports in neighborhoods, parks, etc.
- The ADA recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports. Acrobats, basketball, boxing, field Hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.
Mouthguards come in a variety of brands and sizes. Whenever possible, dentists recommend that athletes wear a custom mouthguard. Over the counter mouthguards are not only less effective in preventing or reducing damage to teeth and jaws, but they also require you to constantly bite down in order to keep them in place causing talking and breathing issues which result in kids not wanting to wear them.
A customized mouthguard can be costly when kids are continually losing baby teeth and erupting permanent teeth between the ages of 7-14, requiring frequent replacement. However, the cost of a fractured tooth over a lifetime is many times greater than the cost of a professionally made mouthguard. Made during the years when kids are the most susceptible to dental sports injuries.
Whether you opt for a custom mouthguard or an over-the-counter variety while your child is going through dental development, teaching your children the importance of protecting their smile while playing sports is a high priority when raising kids today. Contact Dr. Papandreas today for expert knowledge on all sports injuries or anything orthodontic.
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14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
7 Facts About Kids (Dental Sports Injuries)
Dr. Papandreas is a native of Cleveland. Born in Lyndhurst, the middle of five children, his parents moved to Lakewood where he attended Lakewood High School. Dr. Papandreas continued his education at Loyola University School of Dentistry, known as a leader nationally in clinical dentistry. He ranked #1 academically in his dental class for four consecutive years. In addition to the honor of Summa Cum Laude, he was awarded the Frank M. Amaturo Award for Highest GPA – Omicron Kappa Upsilon Fraternity, the Department of Dental Materials Scholastic Award, the Chicago Auxiliary Dental Society Scholarship Award for Highest Academic Achievement, and the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society Award for Academic Excellence.