Sports are an important part of our society. They teach discipline and build character. They also teach us how to work with other people. However, people who play sports are at an increased risk for suffering a dental sports injury. Children and teens are more likely to suffer a mouth injury while they are playing sports. It is estimated that 22,000 people who are under the age of 18 suffer sports injuries to teeth.

There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of sports injuries to teeth.

Wear a Mouth Guard or Head Gear

Our Monroe dentist recommends wearing a mouth guard any time that one plays a sport that requires the use of a stick, ball or puck. People should also wear a mouth guard if the sport involves coming in physical contact with another person. Some athletes may also need to wear head gear. Even if a person does suffer a mouth injury while playing a sport, wearing a mouth guard and head gear will help reduce the severity of it.

Consult with a Dentist for the Best Mouth Guard Option

Head gear design depends on many factors, including the sport. However, a mouth guard that works for one sport will also work for another. It is best to get a custom-made mouth guard from a local dental office. A custom-made mouth guard will offer the best protection. Even though it costs more to get a custom-made mouth guard, it is important to remember that a mouth injury can be even more costly.

Have a Plan for the “Just In Case” Moment

Even though protection can reduce the risk of mouth injuries, the risk is never completely eliminated. Sporting officials, parents and individuals should have a plan in place just in case one suffers a mouth injury. People who suffer a mouth injury should see a dentist as soon as possible. It is also important to be able to differentiate between a dental injury that requires an urgent, immediate or less urgent response and that of a more serious head injury, which you should take to a local hospital.

There are many positive benefits of playing sports. Developing a plan for preventing and treating a dental injury will help people stay focused on the benefits of the sport. People who want to know more about how they can treat and prevent sports injuries should consider visiting their local dental office.