The start of the school year is just around the corner, and before you know it, fall sports practices will be underway.
Football teams will make sure every player has the proper equipment for another season on the gridiron. Helmets, pads, and of course athletic mouthguards are required to protect young bodies and smiles from injury as much as possible.
If you or someone you care about is getting ready for another season of blocking and tackling, then it’s time to call (770) 941-6979 or to fill out our online form to make an appointment at our dentist office in Marietta, GA.
At Atlanta West Dentistry, we want to see you smile when you celebrate your victories and we want you to keep smiling when you leave the field.
Most of us realize that mouthguards are required for sports like football and wrestling, but you may not know that mouthguards are strongly recommended for most sports.
That’s not just our opinion. It’s the recommendation of these organizations:
◼ Academy for Sports Dentistry
◼ American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
◼ American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
◼ American Association of Orthodontists
◼ American Dental Association
Participants in any high-impact sports or activities should be wearing a mouthguard any time they are practicing or playing.
Unfortunately, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation has estimated that around 3 million teeth are knocked out annually as a result of sports injuries. Research has shown that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are up to 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries than athletes who do.
The American Association of Orthodontists conducted its own survey recently. They found that 84 percent of athletes do not wear mouthguards while competing if they are not required to do so. It makes us wonder how many of those 3 million teeth could have been saved if someone had been wearing a mouthguard.
The Medical Dictionary gives this definition: “An activity or sport characterized by intense and/or frequent wear and trauma of weight-bearing joints — foot, knee, and hip.” Those impacts can also affect your jaw joints.
Another way of saying this is any sport that involves a lot of contact, running, jumping, and changing directions or speed should be considered a high-impact sport. From a dental perspective, we also include sports that involve sports equipment flying through the air (baseballs, basketballs, etc.).
Based on the information on the Georgia High School Association website, at least four and arguably five high-impact sports are sanctioned for the fall.
Cheerleading involves lots of jumping and landing (and the occasional flying cheerleader).
Football is heavy on all of the elements of high-impact sports.
Fast-pitch softball is a sport that is often overlooked, but it too involves lots of running and objects moving through the air at high speeds.
Volleyball meets several criteria as well (jumping, potential collisions between players, and volleyballs moving at high speeds).
Running is considered a high-impact form of exercise, so cross country could be considered a high-impact sport as well.
You want your family to be as healthy as possible. This includes keeping their mouths healthy, too.
This is why you teach your kids to brush and floss their teeth. This is why you bring your kids in for professional dental cleanings and exams like we offer at Atlanta West Dentistry.
It’s also why you should strongly encourage (and maybe insist) that your kids wear custom-fitted athletic mouthguards when they are playing sports. There’s a reason we consider this part of our preventive dentistry for families in and around Marietta, GA.
Bacteria, tooth decay, and gum disease are ever-present threats to your family’s oral health. Dental accidents and injuries might be less common, but the impact can be just as great on your son or daughter’s smile.
The best protection comes from custom-fitted mouthguards, which are actually smaller than the mouthguards you’ll find in retail stores. As a result, these mouthguards are more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with breathing and speaking.
No mouthguard can stop an accident from happening. But much like a seatbelt, wearing a mouthguard could be the difference between a major injury or a minor one.
You want your kids to keep smiling long after their playing days are over. That’s why we encourage you to take steps today to protect their teeth.
Schedule an appointment soon at Atlanta West Dentistry to get custom-fitted athletic mouthguards. Call (770) 941-6979 or contact us online.
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