Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

Kid Athletes & Protecting Their Teeth

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published June 1, 2018

At Pediatric Dentistry, we love seeing our kid patients involved in sports! It is important that kids are involved in physical activity everyday to keep them fit and growing properly. However, no matter the sport, it’s important that your kids take the correct safety precautions to keep their teeth safe. Here are some things to consider for when your child is on the court or field and how it can impact their dental health.

Accidents Happen

It should be no surprise that your kid should be wearing a mouthguard if they play a contact sport like football or hockey. When anybody gets hit or tackled, whether a child or adult, their first instinct is to clench their jaw to brace for the impact. The Journal of the American Dental Association reports that sports related injuries make up 13-39% of the 5 million dental avulsions every year. That is why we recommend that you go as far as having your child wear a mouthguard for any sport they are involved in. Because as any parent knows, accidents happen. Whether it is in basketball, volleyball, or baseball; kids are bound to accidentally run into another kids or object without meaning to. An unsuspecting blow to the jaw or face can knock out a tooth cause some serious pain. To play it safe, make a mouthguard part of every uniform!

Using Mouthguards Properly

Mouthguards are an amazing tool for lowering the risk of your child having a dental incident during sports. As a person bites down on one, the energy of the bite is displaced all throughout the rubbery texture of the mouthguard. However, mouthguards need to be fitted properly. Otherwise they are ineffective and can even make a situation worse. Buy a fitted mouthguard that you can mold to fit your child’s teeth pattern. If a mouthguard fits loosely in your child’s mouth, it a hard bite can actually cause more dental damage.

Avoid Sports Drinks

Any parent knows that kids love sports drinks like Gatorade for their fun colors and delicious taste. However, these sugar-filled sports drink are actually detrimental to the dental hygiene of a child. The acidity of these types of drinks will break down the enamel of your child’s teeth and cause decaying, even at a young age. Although they might not agree, the best way to keep your child hydrated is with cold, purified water. They can even drink water that contain electrolytes with supplements of magnesium, potassium, and calcium for quicker absorption and hydration.

Pediatric Dentistry Can Help

Drs. Barsetti & Whittemore are able to fit your child with a custom mouthguard to keep their teeth sage all throughout the year. To learn more about this, contact us today! If you are new to the Des Moines area and are looking for a reliable, caring pediatric dentist, come visit Pediatric Dentistry! We have been serving the area for decades with locations in Ankeny and Des Moines. If your child is a new patient, please fill out a patient history and consent form. We look forward to seeing you!

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