From parents to kiddos, your pediatric dentist in Long Island will be the first to tell you to get out there and get in the game. We think participating in sports, at any level, is an excellent way to:
– Get exercise
– Connect with the community
– Learn something new
But with any sport, your child runs the risk of doing damage to their teeth. No one wants that! Oral injuries from sports can range from a simple bump on the lip to requiring major dental surgery to repair a smile. (Hello, hockey players!) Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of broken, chipped teeth due to sports. Here are some of the most common culprits when it comes to wreaking havoc on small smiles.
#1 – Basketball
We’re putting basketball at the top of the list, and you would be surprised at how many parents and kids are shocked by this. As it turns out, basketball can get more physical than you might think. If you’re a fan or avid player of basketball, then you know there’s a lot that can happen on (and off) the court. This is especially true when things get heated during a close match with a rival, or as the seconds tick away in a championship match-up. It’s not uncommon for an elbow to make contact with a mouth here and there, or for a player to fall flat on their face while attempting a layup. It happens!
What makes basketball so dangerous for smiles (both little and big) is that most players don’t wear any protection in the form of a mouthguard or sportsguard. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we’re always helping parents understand the importance of protecting your kiddos’ smile when they’re playing sports, especially basketball! Who knew the court could damage your teeth?
#2 – Stick and Ball Sports
It might seem obvious that sports, where you need a stick or a bat to be successful, are a possible threat to your little one’s teeth. While injuries are not too common, there have been occasions where we’ve seen the after-effects of a ball or a bat to the face. Sometimes your smile gets in the way of the slap shot intended for the net. Accidents happen, and these kinds of sports pose no exception to the rule that your child should protect their smile at all times with a custom mouthguard or sportsguard.
Baseball and hockey aren’t the only sports that fall into this category. Others include:
– Field Hockey
Yes, we’re including football on this list. It could probably get a category all to itself, but for the most part, players at all levels are required to wear some protection on their teeth. But, if you’re little one goes hard on the gridiron, then you know there’s still potential for damage to be done to their smile (and other body parts).
#3 – X-treme or Thrill Sports
We had to include this one on the list because we talk to more and more parents whose kids are becoming more interested in these kinds of sports every year. This is for the kids who are thrill-seekers, adventurous at heart. With the growth in popularity with alternative-type sporting events such as the X-Games or Red Bull match-ups, kids and teens are:
– Shredding some pipe on their skateboards
– Enjoying corduroy conditions on their snowboards
– Doing some freestyle tricks on their BMX bikes
You may think these sports are reserved for the pros that you see killing it at the X-Games, but in all reality, they’re still pretty popular recreational activities. Sometimes you take a tumble or suffer a fall that impacts your smile. This can spell big trouble for teeth, both small and big.
If you have a child or children who are becoming more active in sports, we applaud you! We hope you’ll give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call if you have questions as they suit up and take the field. We can help guide you through options that can work for both mouthguards and sportsguards. You’ve got enough on your plate, running from work to school, to practice. Let us help answer your questions and ease your concerns!