4 Key Factors That Will Influence Your Child’s Risk of Getting a Sports Injury
It’s back-to-school season and we want to welcome you to the most wonderful time of the year! Ok, we’re only poking fun, but in all seriousness this is the perfect time to start thinking about how to keep your sports-loving child safe at practice and their games.
Did you know that, “An average of 22,000 dental injuries annually occurred among children less than 18 years of age?”*
This means that even the most skilled and agile child on the field is susceptible to a sports accident or dental injury, and sports like baseball and basketball were associated with the largest number of dental injuries.
So to keep our kids happy and smiling, dental associates is recommending all parents of children in sports programs to schedule a back-to-school dental visit to help protect your child’s teeth during the fall sports season and beyond.
The best type of medicine is preventative!
And we’d love to take a moment to show you the 4 key factors that’ll influence your child’s risk of getting a sports injury
Level of skill and agility plays a role in whether your child is more at risk of getting a sports injury.
Peewee players are more at risk of getting sports injuries due to mistakes/motor skills on the field, but the injuries are usually less serious and traumatic longterm, because the velocity and force of impact on the field is minimal compared to a highschool level or pro-athlete level game.
While teens and pro-athletes have more skill and agility on the field and have been trained by a coach how to pivot and adjust their movements on the field, when they do get an injury, it is usually more serious due to the level of force coming at them on the playing field.
We recommend getting a custom fit mouthguard for your child or teen (at any age) and encouraging them to wear it during practice and games.
2.Hydration & Healthcare
Healthcare and water intake play an important role in your child or teen’s ability to think clearly and move swiftly on the playing field, as well as the strength of your child’s enamel.
“High fructose corn syrups and sugars found in sodas and sports drinks, not only provide empty nonnutritious calories, they actively contribute to tooth decay and erosion.”*
At Dental Associates, we recommend using water as an alternative to high-sugar sports drinks, and to drink often before, during, and after practices and games to keep your child hydrated and focused.
If your child has teeth that stick out or protrude towards the front of the mouth, they are more likely to get a sports injury that’ll affect their teeth during games and practice. “Most often in sports terms this simply means, ‘how prominent are the front teeth’ or how much do they ‘stick out.’ Technically this is called ‘overjet.’ It is commonly held that over 80% of all dental injuries involve the upper front teeth.”*
We highly recommend in this circumstance. speaking with your dental professional at Dental Associates about mouth protection and orthodontic correction (braces) to help minimize risk of sport injury to their teeth.
There are 4 types of sport velocities and contact levels:
- Low velocity, non-contact sports: golf, swimming, running
- High velocity, noncontact sports: bicycling, snowboarding, skiing
- Contact sports: basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse
- Collision sports: football, hockey, rugby
“Of all sports, baseball and basketball were associated with the largest number of dental injuries.”*
Each type of sport has it’s own unique sports risks associated with it, and we recommend having a conversation with the coach of your child’s sports team about typical injuries for that sport and preventative measures you can take now that’ll help reduce your child’s risk of injury.
While we can’t prevent every injury, we can take an active role in minimizing injuries within sports practices and games. The most important factor to keep in mind during the fall sports season and beyond is taking immediate and effective action during a dental injury event. “Dental injuries incurred during sports activities are highly treatable, and can involve good outcomes if participants act quickly to see a dentist after an injury event. However, if not treated quickly these kinds of injuries can lead to discomfort and a lifetime of dental costs” *
If your child does experience a sports emergency, you can reach any of our local office locations (24/7) and speak directly with a dental professional: