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Back to School, Sports, and Your Kids Smiles

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The benefits of playing sports include learning discipline, fitness, and teamwork; following rules; and showing good sportsmanship. Ideally, youth sports are focused on experiences and fun, rather than just simply winning.

With any sport activity, there is risk of injury, especially to the mouth. Did you know that about 3 million teeth are knocked out at sporting events annually?

MouthguardsHere are 3 tips to share with your patients and their parents as to why kids should be wearing mouthguards:

  1. Save your smile from injuries! Your teeth can be chipped, cracked, or knocked out during sports. Other impact-related injuries can prevent you from biting through your lip or tongue. Sports like soccer, football, volleyball, wrestling, skateboarding, bicycling, martial arts, softball, baseball, and basketball are just some examples.
  2. Save your money! Options for mouthguards range from sporting goods stores to customized fits from your dentist. Fees can range from $5 to $500. You can get into the team spirit and add team colors to your mouthguard! Customized mouthguards are a significant investment, so when informing parents of their children?s options, share this: Kids often do not like the fit of noncustomized mouthguards and do not wear them. Depending on the injury, mouthguards can save you hundreds to thousands if you need to replace a tooth that was knocked out. Additionally, many school days are missed because of dental injuries. By wearing mouthguards, your child will not miss school and you will not miss work.
  3. Save your brain from concussions! This a highly debatable topic. Research has not been conclusive as to whether mouthguards absorb the impact immediately following a hard hit to the jaw or mouth or not. They do, however, prevent the severity of concussions. That fact alone is more than enough reason for every child to wear one.

Educate parents and coaches with these 2 interesting facts:

  1. Athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth, according to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation.
  2. An American Association of Orthodontists survey found that 84% of children do not wear mouthguards because they are not required to wear them.

Back to school preparations often include dental exams and a dental hygiene visit?place mouthguards on that list for a healthy smile!

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Anastasia challenges dental professionals to continually raise the standard of patient care. She is an author in several dental industry publications and is published as an oral health source for numerous online consumer-based sites. Her weekly video blog on YouTube; Anastasia's Hump Day Happenings answers questions from the general public on oral health topics. She  connects with dental professionals on her Facebook page as well. Anastasia is a spokesperson, independent consultant, working with several companies to develop website content, social media presence, continuing education programs and in-office training for dental hygiene departments on product integration with team communication.

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