Sports are great for your teenager. They help your teen build relationships with their team members, encourage them to exercise, and teach them to work hard in order to accomplish something. Unfortunately, there are some sports that can be more dangerous to your teen's oral health than other sports. If your teenager plays any of the following sports, you should talk to a dental professional about the steps that you can take to protect your teen's teeth.
Football is considered a contact sport that can result in numerous injuries. Because of this, it is mandatory for players to wear helmets, mouthguards, and padding. Getting tackled and tackling other players means that your teen will get bumped—a lot—and high-speed contact like that can result in concussions as well as knocked-out teeth, which is where a mouthguard comes into play.
Though basketball is not considered a contact sport, there are a significant number of dental injuries in this sport. The reason for this is due to the danger of flying balls and errant elbows to the facial area. When you are guarding an opponent, you need to get close while still moving quickly, which can result in accidental collisions. The amount of dental damage that occurs can be limited by wearing a mouthguard.
Softball and Baseball
Softball and baseball are two sports in which balls are flying directly at the player at incredibly high speeds. Though softballs are a bit softer, they are still hard balls. Both softballs and baseballs can strike your teenager in the face. In addition to being hit by an errant ball, an injury to the jaw or mouth can occur to your teen as he or she is diving for a base. For these reasons, it is imperative that your teen wears a mouthguard as well as helmet that covers the majority of the head while batting—and this is true even during practice.
Hockey is most definitely a contact sport, and dental injuries can occur from being struck by the hockey stick or taking a puck in the face. While injuries are more likely during games than practice, it is still important to wear protective gear during practice. Your teen should wear a helmet, which has a visor or face mask, and a mouthguard to protect themselves against potential injuries.
For more information on how to protect your teen against dental injuries while playing sports, or if your teen has suffered a sports-related dental injury, contact a local dental office.