During the summer months, kids and teens of all ages love to participate in summer sports camps. They do this because they have a great time, but more so to keep a competitive edge. However, playing a contact sport, or any outdoor sport for that matter, comes with a high risk of physical and dental injuries. Therefore, as a parent, you must make sure your kiddos maintain protection from dental injuries by wearing a mouth guard.

Although many parents invest in protective gear like helmets, knee and elbow pads, they often don’t realize the risk of dental injuries and will forget about protecting teeth. So, it’s advisable that you take adequate measures to avoid trauma to your kid’s grill. This will most certainly ensure that his or her smile stays healthy all summer long.

Here are some tips that can come handy and help you get started:

Invest in Customized Mouth Guards

One of the best ways to avoid dental injuries is to wear mouth guards. Made from rubber or specialized plastics, a mouth guard fits over the top arch of teeth. Guards ultimately protect teeth, along with the tongue and lips, and help prevent them from sustaining trauma during an impact.

Some dental practitioners will suggest customized mouth guards for kids that are especially young.  This is because they offer the best possible protection for their teeth. Besides this, in comparison to ready-made boil and bite guards, custom-made guards are also more comfortable to wear. Various users also report that custom guards are less likely to impede breathing because of their perfect fit.

Avoid Sugary Snacks and Beverages

Since outdoor summer sports require a lot of running, it can significantly decrease the amount of saliva produced in a kid’s mouth. And when their mouth is parched, this can increase the risk of mouth infections and tooth decay. So, having them drink lots of water keeps their teeth healthy, while also replenishing their active body.

Unfortunately, lots of kids will drink sugary juices and sodas, as well as eat sugary snacks before or after physical activities. All of these behaviors will further exacerbate tooth decay and weaken tooth enamel which can increase dental injuries. Even drinking sports drinks can be harmful if they’re loaded with sugar. Thus, it’s important to keep kids mindful of a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water during the summer months.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Even if your kids enjoy swimming and no other contact sport, you still have to make sure that their teeth are well-protected. With swimming, for instance, you’ll want to confirm that the pool water maintains the appropriate pH levels. Also, your kids will need to continue to rinse their mouth after swimming so they won’t run the risk of swimmer’s calculus with their teeth. The chemical additives in pool water can stain teeth with a yellowish tartar build-up, erode tooth enamel, and elevate tooth sensitivity.

Hence, make sure your kids follow good oral hygiene habits like using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and repair damage. Also, be sure to inculcate the habit of regularly brushing and flossing teeth, twice every day. Lastly, parents shouldn’t forget to take kids in their routine dental exams.

When Dental Injuries Happen…

The unfortunate truth is, accidents do happen, and sometimes kids will lose their teeth due to sports injuries. However, there is hope. Most general dentists are great for helping patients maintain good oral health. But if or when there is dental trauma, they need to see an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

In fact, the highly trained medical and dental surgeons of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Houston (OMSH) are available to help. If your teen or older child suffers a dental injury that requires dental implants or surgery, they are the best dental physicians to consult with. To learn more about how the oral surgeons of OMSH can help you or your athletic kiddos, contact us online today. Or, for immediate assistance, call us at 832-509-4505.

In the meantime, try these three tips to help protect and guard your kid’s grill this summer. Above all, be sure you and your kids wear a mouth guard while participating in highly physical contact sports to maintain a healthy smile!