It’s still April, so there’s still time to take a moment to talk about National Facial Protection Month. At Texas Oral Surgery Specialists, we see a fair amount of injuries to the face and jaw resulting from sports accidents. Sometimes it’s just a knocked-out tooth that will need a dental implant, sometimes it’s much worse. In any event, we always encourage our patients to wear protective gear to prevent the worst kind of injuries. If your sport requires a helmet, wear it! If not, a mouth guard can protect your teeth and jaw from some of the worse effects of a rough blow.
Grapevine oral surgeon Dr. Chris Tye wants you to keep your children protected during sports season. As a dentist and oral surgeon, Dr. Tye sees the results of sports injuries more than he would like. Have your child fitted with a customized mouth guard from your regular dentist and call our Colleyville office at 817-552-3223 if your child sustains an injury to the mouth.
Mouth Guards Make a Difference
Mouth guards can protect the mouth by cushioning a blow and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, injury to the lips and tongue, and damage to the jaw. Experts say children between the ages of 7-11 are at the greatest risk of enduring sports-related injuries and they are 60 percent more likely to suffer damage if they are not wearing a mouth guard at the time of an accident. These are pretty alarming statistics, since children of this age are in the midst of getting their permanent teeth. You don’t want your child to start his life one-tooth-down, or have to worry that an injury has damaged a still-developing tooth. If your preteen children play contact sports especially, a customized mouth guard is the best way to protect them.
Why Get a Customized Mouth Guard?
A lot of people choose to buy children’s one-size or boil-and-bite style mouthguards from sport supply stores, and this does provide some level of protection. However, a customized mouth guard from a dentist is always a better choice, due to the fact that it is tailored to fit your child’s growing mouth perfectly. A better fit provides a higher level of protection, but there’s also the comfort factor to think about. If a mouth guard is too bulky or doesn’t fit right, your child will be more likely to avoid wearing it. Customized mouth guards are more comfortable, and they don’t get taken out and put back in quite as frequently.
Yes, customized mouth guards cost more than the store models, but they don’t cost much more than a night at the movies. If you are willing to spend on extras like entertainment, it’s not that much more to ensure your child has the highest level of protection from mouth injuries.
If Your Child Sustains an Injury to the Mouth
The most common sports-related dental injury is a knocked-out tooth. If this happens to your child, we can try to replace the tooth in the socket, and it sometimes takes. If this happens to you, bring the tooth to us right away, in a small container of milk or saliva, if possible. Do not clean the tooth, as you may accidentally dislodge the connective tissues that may make reattachment possible. If it is a baby tooth that gets knocked out, we will not try to re-attach it, as this can harm the adult tooth that’s already growing underneath it.
A child who loses an adult tooth will eventually want to get a dental implant to permanently replace the tooth, but this can’t happen until the child is older. In the meantime, we can create a dental bridge to replace the missing tooth.
Grapevine oral surgeon Dr. Chris Tye wants to keep your kids’ smiles healthy and strong! A mouth guard is a great way to make sure your little athlete doesn’t end up with a lifetime reminder of a bad day on the field.