Protecting Your Teeth Playing Sports this Summer
Summer is right around the corner, and that means many kids will be participating in sports. Whether soccer, football, hockey, or another high-impact sport like martial arts, it’s important to find a way to protect their teeth! For hockey players, losing a tooth may be a rite of passage and something that’s expected, but for parents, it can be a financial nightmare. Here are a few ways to help protect your kids’ teeth this summer, no matter what sport they play.
While mouth guards can cost quite a few dollars when made properly by a dentist, it’s nothing compared to the cost of replacing a tooth-or three! Contact sports like football and hockey have the most instances where teeth can be knocked out. Any sport that involves person-to-person contact, bats, sticks, or other hard instruments should always use a mouth guard. For those on a budget, most sporting goods stores and pharmacies offer a one-size-fits-most guard, but they don’t always offer the best protection or comfortable fit.
One of the most common summer sports seems like it would be the safest for your teeth, but in reality, swimming can cause just as much harm to your teeth as full contact sports. If the pH of the pool your child swims in is too low, the pool water becomes acidic and can cause enamel erosion and yellowing of the teeth. The best way to protect your kid’s teeth while they swim is to use toothpaste designed to strengthen enamel, which can also repair enamel damage already present.
If your child prefers solo sports like biking, skiing, or skating, there’s less risk of being injured by other participants. However, the likelihood of falling or running into a tree, pole, or other obstruction is very likely. One way to help protect your child’s mouth is with a helmet. Choosing the right one for a given sport can help to hinder any potential damage. Chances are, though, that a helmet alone won’t fully shield their mouth. A mouth guard is also a good idea to wear while participating in these activities.