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Spring is here which that means more time for your children to play outside and participate in sports. Of course, that also means more opportunities for them to suffer an injury to their teeth or jaw.

That’s why the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine is in full support of Youth Sports Safety Month. While taking care of those pearly whites is a lifelong affair, dedicating a month to the importance of dental safety helps to remind us all of the importance of protecting our young ones from a serious sports injury.

Your McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental are in full support of this agenda. With up to nearly 40% of dental injuries occurring during sports play, it’s important for parents and children to have the right tools and follow the right safety tips to avoid a costly emergency trip to the dentist.

80% of dental injuries involve the front teeth #SportsSafety #Prevention #WhiteWingDental Click To Tweet

1. Your child athlete should always wear a mouthguard when playing sports.

Mouth guards are absolutely essential for your athlete. Not only will they protect your child’s teeth from chipping, they also help to protect them from impacts that can knock them loose. Even more importantly, a mouth guard can offer additional support to the rest of the mouth and jaw, helping to provide additional cushion to prevent a concussion.

While mouth guards should be worn during any high impact sport such as football, hockey, or wrestling, they can also offer plenty of benefits for athletes participating in other activities like:

      • Basketball
      • Softball
      • Soccer
      • Skateboarding
      • Biking

Don’t let your athlete hit the field without a mouthguard.

#StunningFacts: Around 84% of children DO NOT wear mouth guards while playing sports #ProtectYourSmile #RGV Click To Tweet

2. Let your athlete mix it up.

Is your child eager to play sports but not too interested in contact sports? Why not let them be active in a number of activities that can help to keep them away from any serious injury to their mouth and teeth.

These sports offer the same level of competition, physical activity, and fun:

      • Volleyball
      • Tennis
      • Golf
      • Running
      • Gymnastics
      • Bowling
      • Swimming

While you’ll still want to provide them a mouthguard for certain sports like volleyball, the majority of these can be played with minimal concern that they might take a hit to their teeth.

The one sport that you might want to be extra vigilant with, however, is swimming. You’ll want to prevent any horseplay such as running around the pool or diving into shallow water as a bad slip or fall can cause some major tooth damage or worse. It’s also important to note that chlorine is known to eat away at enamel and cause some discoloration, so a mouthguard just might come in handy here as well.

Over 5 million teeth are lost each year playing sports #Scary #ProtectYourChild Click To Tweet

3. Pick up the water. Put down the sugary drink.

Dehydration is a serious concern for children participating in sports. Don’t get fooled by commercials of fancy sports drinks with electrolytes that supposedly provide your athlete an advantage. Water is more than enough to provide your child with all the hydration they need while being active.

Plus, you avoid giving your child all that extra sugar. A 12-ounce serving of Gatorade has around 21 grams of sugar, but keep in mind that the average Gatorade bottle has 2-3 servings, meaning your superstar is getting 2 to 3 times the amount of sugar. While we might be cautious with candies and sodas, parents need to be just as concerned with giving their child too many sports drinks that can lead to cavities.

#Sports drinks are not all they're cracked up to be. #Water should be your #1 choice for your athlete #StayHydrated #NoSugar Click To Tweet

4. Don’t forget those helmets!

While mouthguards are excellent accessories for protection, helmets can prove to be even more effective at protecting your little one’s mouth and jaw. While helmets with facial cages are a must for sports like hockey and football, they can also prove to be exceptionally helpful for those athletes that love skateboarding and biking.

Not only do they protect your child’s teeth but they also deliver much-needed protection to their head and brain – protecting them from serious concussions.

Keep your future superstar athlete safe with these Youth Sports Safety Month tips and with the support from your McAllen family dentist at WhiteWing Dental.

Even taking every possible step to protect your child from a dental sports injury may not be enough. When that happens, our family and pediatric dentists at WhiteWing Dental are here to provide the service and care your child deserves.

From routine cleanings and checkups to more serious conditions, WhiteWing Dental is here for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.