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Play it safe: Prevent dental injuries

January 15, 2014

We would like to remind parents and young athletes to play it safe as you prepare for winter sport activities.

The mouth and face can easily be injured if proper precautions are not used during sports or recreational activities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than seven million sports and recreation-related injuries occur each year, and more than half of those injuries are sustained by youth ages 5-24.

In addition, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimated more than three million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events in the U.S. in 2012. This same group reported that athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. Unfortunately, a large number of children do not wear mouthguards. In fact, 67 percent of parents surveyed admitted their children do not wear a mouthguard during organized sports, according to a survey by the American Association of Orthodontists. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.
Parents and coaches are urged to be proactive to keep children safe. Here are important tips to remember:

Accidents can happen no matter how cautious we might be. In the unfortunate circumstance that a tooth is cracked or knocked out, knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Here are some tips for dental emergencies:

Visit your dentist for advice on a properly fitted mouthguard. Good oral health habits and proper safety measures can help you keep smiling all year long.