The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry states that sports cause anywhere between 10 to 39% of children's dental injuries. Dental injuries like chipped and broken teeth are just one of many ways sports can impact your child's teeth. Consider speaking to a kids dentist if your child experiences one of the issues below.
Grinding teeth (or bruxism) can be caused by stress, and kids are more likely to experience this when playing sports. Additionally, grinding their teeth while sleeping is an unconscious habit that kids may develop as a coping mechanism for this stress. Seeing a kids dentist is important if your child grinds their teeth, as it can lead to serious dental issues like jaw pain and chipping of the teeth.
Sports are physical activity, and kids are at risk for dehydration when playing. When children become dehydrated, their mouths can become dry and the salivary flow may be reduced. Saliva helps reduce bacteria in kids' mouths, but when kids don't have enough saliva, it increases the likelihood of the onset of gum disease. Kids dentists recommend that kids drink plenty of water while playing and also brush their teeth after every game to reduce bacteria.
Sports like hockey, lacrosse, and football come with a higher risk of dental injuries. As kids are not as experienced in these sports as adults, they may be more prone to oral accidents like being hit in the face or jaws by a puck, ball, or stick. If children experience one of these dental injuries during a game, it is important to have kids dentist examine their teeth right away to prevent further damage.
Damage From Sports Mouth Guards
Kids dentists generally recommend that children wear sports mouthguards while playing certain contact sports. This helps protect kids' teeth by absorbing the impact from any accidental blows that happen during play. Sports mouthguards, however, can cause kids to clench down on them too hard, causing strain and pain in their jaw muscles. To avoid this issue, kids dentists suggest children choose a sports mouth guard that is comfortable and fits properly.
Sports can have a direct impact on kids' teeth, so it is important to talk to kids dentists about any concerns you may have. With the proper education and protection, kids can stay healthy and active in sports for years to come. Give us a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment.