About 75% of American kids have problems with their adult teeth once they’re set, and lifestyle often plays into that. Providing your favorite adolescents with the opportunity to play sports and enjoy physical activities isn’t just smart, it’s essential. In fact, sports benefit kids in multiple ways. Team-based activity encourages self-esteem and confidence. It strengthens neurological connections and motivates active academical participation. And, of course, physical activity helps encourage an active lifestyle and thwart countless health issues. According to the American Dental Association, kids who wear a mouthguard can avoid some serious and painful consequences down the road. But what teeth issues can a mouthguard prevent while playing sports?
Cracked and Chipped Teeth
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) claims that kids who don’t wear mouthguards are up to 60 times more likely to suffer damage to their teeth during sports play. Even slight cracks or chips can cause a number of ongoing dental problems. This may include tooth pain while eating or drinking, sudden or random sensitivity, and loss of enamel which can expose the dentin or root of a tooth. Cracked and chipped teeth can be repaired, but they’re far easier to avoid altogether.
Fractured or Broken Roots
Approximately 39% of dental injuries are sports-related, and treatment of those injuries can cost a patient up to $15,000 over the course of a lifetime. Tooth fractures are among the most common forms of oral trauma, and those injuries aren’t always limited to just the crown. A hit at the wrong angle can also damage the root. The severity depends on the location of the fracture, but it might not be discovered until an infection sets in. It’s essential to see your Moorestown dentist at the first sign of trouble. Or better yet, use a mouthguard and keep those teeth intact.
Avulsed Teeth or Intrusion
An avulsion is an injury that occurs when trauma causes a bodily structure to be forcibly torn from its normal placement. It’s certainly not a pleasant thought, but experiencing it is far worse. Around 30 million Americans are in some form of sports activity, and that leads to over 5 million avulsed teeth. Sometimes the tooth isn’t knocked out but ends up being driven into the jawbone instead. This type of trauma, known as intrusion, is rare, but it can cause extensive pain and damage. Complications can include necrosis or other damage of the tooth pulp, fusion of the root to the alveolar bone, or shortening of the roots which occurs in 70% of intrusion cases.
Research released by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) disclosed that over 50% of sports and recreational injuries are suffered by children as young as 5 years old. And a whopping 84% of kids don’t wear mouthguards because they’re not required by their parents or coach. However, while other essential safety gear may cost hundreds of dollars, a mouthguard is one of the least expensive but most effective pieces of equipment an athlete can use. So why take chances when the simple addition of using a mouthguard is estimated to prevent 200,000 oral injuries each year? Visit your Moorestown dentist to get one for your kids today.