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Love Your Smile with Dr. Sujata Bhatia

By Staff | Apr 25, 2013

QUESTION: My eight-year-old is joining the little league this year. I have heard that he should wear a mouth guard. Is that necessary?

With spring here, many children, teens and adults will once again pick up the ball, bring the bat out of seasonal retirement and lace up their cleats to hit the fields for the return of spring sports!

Astonishing statistics:

1) According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high school athletes and adults will have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events this year.

2) One out of three kids will experience a dental injury by the time they finish high school.

3) Bicycle-related head injuries account for more than 15,000 emergency room visits annually.

4) In collision sports such as football, hockey and boxing, where the risk of injury is obvious, athletes are required to wear protective gear. In these sports, less than 1 percent of injuries involve the teeth and mouth.

5) In contact sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball, protective gear is not mandatory. In these sports, nearly 35 percent of injuries involve the teeth and mouth.

More than 200,000 injuries are prevented each year by wearing mouth guards.

Do not be a victim. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of rehabilitation. The cost to rehabilitate a knocked out or fractured tooth can surpass the price of a mouth guard by hundreds of dollars.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself and loved ones from easily preventable injuries:

1) Wear mouth guards for contact sports such as baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.

2) Wear a helmet, protective eye wear and face shield.

3) Be alert, even as a spectator.

We give free mouth guards to anyone that asks. It’s about saving teeth and providing a service to the community, so call and stop by either one of our locations to pick one up.

If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office. Stay safe and have fun!