April is notoriously known for April Fools, Easter, and Earth Day. But aside from all the fun and festivities, did you know that April is also National Facial Protection month? Every year the American Dental Association and other dental affiliations encourage the use of facial protective sports gear for children and adults to prevent sports-related injuries.
Aside from the helmets and knee pads, dental professionals have highly suggested the usage of mouth guards to protect the jaw and teeth from injury. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), it was reported that 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports related. And while there are always options to treat these injuries, the cost of treatment is something to consider.
Hypothetically speaking, when a child is playing sports, they have a higher chance of knocking out their teeth if they aren’t wearing a mouth guard. There is the chance to save a tooth after it has been knocked out, but often times the tooth does not reattach. If that tooth is a baby teeth, there could be trauma in the area that eventually affects the neighboring teeth or even the emerging permanent tooth. In doing so, the child could experience crooked teeth or crowded teeth after development.
If the tooth is the permanent adult tooth and does not reattach, alternative options for tooth replacement could be considered. These treatment options may include dental bridges, or maybe even a dental implant if bone development is complete.
In comparison to a dental bridge or implant, over-the-counter mouth guards are inexpensive, usually costing about $20-$30 at your local merchandising store. There is also the boil-and-bite options where you make a custom mouth guard that is shaped to your teeth. Our office also provides custom made professional mouth guards which provides the most benefits in terms of comfort, proper and correct fitting, as well as maximal protection. Like many other fields of healthcare, prevention is key. So the next time your child is heading to soccer practice, make sure they’re geared up with mouth guards!