youth baseball game

Parents: It’s that time of year again when your kids are active in spring and summer sports. While you may not think your child should wear a mouthguard while playing these spring and summer sports, they should.

At Southeast Family Dental, we’ve seen too many kids who have injured their teeth, gums and jaws from sports-related accidents. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, over 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out each year during sports-related activities. In fact, athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard.

Not recognizing or paying attention to the potential danger

What’s surprising is many parents don’t seem to recognize or pay attention to the potential danger these sports activities pose to their child’s oral health—or even realize the amount of damage a sports injury can inflict on their child’s teeth and mouth. According to a survey conducted by American Association of Orthodontists, 67% of parents admit that their child doesn’t wear a mouthguard while playing organized sports. Maybe it’s because parents think that a sports-inflicted dental injury won’t happen to their child. However, up to half of all children will have at least one traumatic injury to a tooth before they graduate from high school.

Traumatic dental injuries due to spring and summer sports activities can occur when your child:

  • Takes a direct hit in the mouth from a flying ball, bat or other piece of sports equipment while playing baseball, softball, basketball, soccer or volleyball. Even during water sports like water skiing or surfing, your child could fall and get hit in the face with a ski or surf board.
  • Gets smacked in the mouth with another player’s knee elbow, arm or hand.
  • Rides their bicycle or skateboard and falls off, hitting the pavement.

Therefore, it’s essential that your child wears a mouthguard while participating in these activities to lower their risk of an injury. Whether your child plays organized sports through school or recreational leagues, or just plays neighborhood pickup games, he or she needs to wear a mouthguard. In fact, Dr. Laura Geiger and Dr. Holly Austgen, dentists at Southeast Family Dental and parents of young children themselves, say they would absolutely make their children wear mouthguards when they participate in any of these sports activities.

Contact us for a custom-made mouthguard

If your child is active in spring and summer sports, contact the dentists at Southeast Family Dental and ask about getting a custom-made mouthguard for your child. A custom-made mouthguard that’s specifically made to fit your child’s mouth and teeth offers superior protection compared to generic mouthguards you’ve seen at your local sporting goods store. So protect your child’s smile while letting them enjoy their spring and summer sports activities.