Are you ready for some football? All of us here at Heroes Dental sure are!
Whether it’s middle school, high school, or the NFL, when September rolls around, we’re all ready to dust off our favorite jerseys and start making our way to the State Championship or Super Bowl. This is Texas, after all, and in this state, we live and breathe football — from Pop Warner to the pros.
Let’s Hear It for Texas Football in 2019
Last year was a tough one for our Dallas Cowboys. The Los Angeles Rams sent us packing in the divisional round, but Dak Prescott and Zeke “The Freak” Elliot are back with a vengeance and ready to lead America’s Team to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
It won’t be easy getting past the New Orleans Saints and other NFC powerhouses — not to mention Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC — but the Cowboys are up to the challenge…and we always have the Texans in Houston if things go wrong in Dallas!
But wherever you may be in this great state, your kids, family, and friends are sure to be playing games of their own, from local peewee leagues to big-time high school and college football. And as much as we love the crack of the shoulder pads and blindside sacks, we want to make sure everyone stays safe and finishes the season with the same amount of teeth they started with.
So consider this a friendly reminder on how to protect your kids’ dental health as sports leagues get underway once again.
Keeping Teeth Healthy for All Sports
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental injuries are common not only in collision and contact sports such as football and boxing, but even limited- and non-contact activities such as gymnastics and skating. In fact, basketball and hockey players are more likely to suffer dental injuries than football players because they wear less protective gear.
Regardless of what sport or physical activity your kids are involved in, one of the most important investments you can make should be for a properly fitted mouthguard. We understand that nobody likes to wear a mouthguard for hours at a time, not even professional athletes, but mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries every year.
Consider a mouthguard as part of your regular dental health habits. In fact, keeping up with your dental health away from the field or stadium (i.e. brushing and flossing regularly, etc.) helps strengthen your teeth and provides more protection alongside a mouthguard.
Strong, healthy teeth are less likely to get knocked out than if you don’t take good care of them. Regular visits to the dentist even in the off-season are an important part of safety for your kids’ sports activities.
Dental Injuries from Contact and Non-Contact Sports
Properly fitted mouthguards don’t just prevent chipped or lost teeth, they also protect the entire mouth and even the gums, cheeks, jawbone, and tongue. Our teeth are very sharp and the high speeds and violent crashes (or simply unexpected elbows) of sports can do permanent damage.
Dental injuries from routine sports activity can include:
- • Fracturing or chipping teeth
- • Knocking teeth out completely
- • Displacing teeth and pushing them deeper into their sockets
- • Injury to the joint of the jaw and surrounding muscles (i.e. the temporomandibular joint)
- • Severely damaging soft tissue in the gums and cheeks
Mouthguards protect teeth from chomping down on each other or other areas of the mouth. They also cushion the impact of a collision and help redistribute the force that would otherwise cause dental injury. Even a simple injury such as a lost or chipped tooth can cost thousands of dollars in subsequence treatment and/or surgeries.
For a fraction of the price, it is better to invest in a properly fitted mouthguard, especially for younger athletes whose teeth and jaws are still growing. Don’t rely on cheap plastic mouthguards that you buy in a store and boil before the game. Kids these days are playing sports 12 months a year, so you should consider purchasing them a properly fitted mouthguard to protect their pearly whites.
A Healthy Smile for the Big Game
Not all sports leagues may require mouthguards or emphasize the dangers to dental health. As a parent, you have to be the first line of defense and understand the risks and the importance of protecting your children’s teeth just as you would their bones or hydration.
A lost or chipped tooth (and other damage) can last a lifetime, and as your family dentists, we’re doing all we can to make sure that doesn’t happen! Hopefully, these tips and advice will help make sure your kids have a full smile when the big game rolls around.
At Heroes Dental, our McAllen dentists know exactly what you’d like from your mouthguard – comfort, durability, and resistance to tears. Custom-made mouthguards also make it easier to breathe and speak while wearing them. The right mouthguard will properly align with your jaw and can help to improve your athletic performance.