Sports and activity plays a crucial role in developing healthy, strong young adults. As we know though, kids will be kids, and the dangers of physical activity come thick and fast to growing young bodies. Your child may start a new sport in the new school year - be prepared and help to prevent life's little accidents!
Injuries to teeth are among the most common types of sporting injuries.
From 6 months of age, your child will begin to get their baby teeth (or milk teeth). While all of these teeth will be replaced by the permanent set, broken or lost baby teeth can have an impact on a growing child’s mouth.
By age 5-6 kids will start to see their permanent adult teeth erupting in the mouth. As they are often larger than other teeth they are susceptible to bumps and knocks that can crack or dislodge them often resigning a child to a lifelong period of dental maintenance.
There are three types of mouth-guards:
Only dentist moulded mouth guards have been shown to provide adequate protection of teeth during trauma. It’s important that your child have a thorough dental checkup before commencing any sport.
Getting to know different types of categories of sports and the injuries that are associated with each will guide us to what type of precautions and protection we should be considering for our kids.
These are sports that include vehicles or objects that move much faster than humans and involve the highest risks of injuries.
Protection – Due to risk of injuries and concussions, these sports often have specialized hard protection of the skull and face regions such as helmets or guards. It’s important to also use a dentist formed mouth guard to provide the highest level of safety if an accident is to occur.
Activities that involve body collisions whilst lower than high-speed sports, still carry the risk of dental injuries in young kids.
Protection - Often these sports have specialized soft helmet options for kids to wear. These have not shown to be significantly effective in preventing head and facial injuries. When playing all body contact sports it’s imperative that your child wears a dentist moulded mouth-guard to minimise risk of dental injury.
If a child suffers a broken tooth is it’s important to reassure the child and make a dental appointment as soon as possible.
In the case of a lost tooth, if possible it should be re-implanted, in cases where the tooth can’t be implanted, it should NOT be washed or stored in water but stored in either milk or saline solution and taken to the nearest available dental surgery immediately.