Spring is well under way, and with summer close behind, it's time for our kids to get outside and get back to dreams of goals and home runs. We all take our kids' safety seriously, outfitting them with all manner of protective head and body gear. But we must not forget to also protect the safety of their teeth, jaws, joints and smiles.
Traumatic injury to the mouth is a very real concern for our active, athletic kids and young adults. Since mouth guards began to be adopted in the seventies in high impact sports like football and hockey, the incidences of injuries in those particular sports have been greatly reduced. But if we don't protect them while playing other highly physical sports, like soccer, baseball and softball, we are standing at the sidelines waiting for the next accident to occur, and no parent wants to see their child suffer unnecessarily.
A simple sports mouth guard can make the difference between an emergency and just another run scored. There are dozens of options for parents to choose from, including professional made and custom fitted options. Talk with your dentist about all the options available and ask for help in choosing the best option for yourself or your child, and if you already have a mouth guard in action, start the season out right by taking it in for a professional sterilization. Most dental practices will be happy to help you keep at least the mouth guard clean -- we'll leave the uniform sterilization to you and your detergent of choice! Nothing beats a healthy, happy, smiling young athlete.