Break out the bike, skateboard, rollerblades, because Spring is here!
No doubt your kids are eager to dust off their sports equipment and get outside again. And since April is facial protection month, we want to be sure they hit the pavement (so to speak!) safely.
Sure, they can be clunky, but they can also save your child’s life.
In recreational sports, where research has been conducted for years to determine safety rates, helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent. With that percentage, you’d be silly not to ensure your child wears a helmet.
The type of helmet your kids should wear depends on the type of sport they’re involved in.
Here’s a great guide from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that covers the exact type of helmet that should be worn for a host of sports, along with general instructions on how to obtain a proper fit.
It’s also important to note there are special recommendations for children’s helmets, so be sure to inquire about recommendations specific to your little ones.
The American Dental Association estimates “a full third of all dental injuries are sports related… and that, the use of a mouthguard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year.”
And, the risks of playing sports without the necessary protection aren’t just related to teeth loss: a harsh impact to the jaw can cause a concussion that could have otherwise been avoided.
If your kids are involved in any sort of sport where contact with another player - or the ground - is possible, you'll want to ask your dentist about obtaining a custom-made mouth guard.
Such mouth guards are affordable and last several years with good care. They're your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your children’s teeth during sporting events.
Custom-made guards are far superior to the boil and bite guards found in your local sporting goods store, and are made using a process similar to that used when making an orthodontic retainer.
Essentially, a custom mold is made of the teeth, and the resulting product is a guard that fits the mouth and teeth like a tailored suit would fit your little one’s body. Variations in the preparation and specifications of custom guards are dependent on the type of sports they're involved in, as well as their age and overall dental health.
A consultation with your dentist can provide the insight you need to decide which kind of appliance is the best for your child’s needs.
So, have fun out there this spring, and be safe. We all love you and your whole family with your teeth in place, and your head on straight!