Youth Sports Safety Month is upon us. Although taking care of those pearly whites should be a year-round affair, April is THE month to shed a little awareness about dental safety during sports.

The pediatric dentists at Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry want your little heroes to stay safe during play.

Dentists agree that between 13% and 39% of all dental injuries happen while playing sports, and nearly 80% of dental injuries involve the front teeth. With that in mind, these four tips should help your little hero not only improve his or her smile, but it should keep them from having a costly emergency trip to the dentist.

80% of dental injuries involve the front teeth #SportsSafety #ToothSafety #LittleHeroes Click To Tweet

1. Equip your athlete with a mouth guard.

A sports mouth guard has the potential to provide several benefits for your athlete. A mouth guard will protect your children’s teeth from chipping and brace them for impact, ensuring they don’t get knocked loose. A mouth guard will also offer support to the rest of the mouth and the jaw, providing a cushion that can help prevent a concussion.

Aside from vital protection during any contact sport, a mouth guard can come in handy in other incidental contact activities like:

  • Biking
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Skateboarding
  • Soccer

Don’t let your little heroes run out of the door without gearing them up with a mouth guard.

Around 84% of children don’t wear mouth guards while playing sports. #RGV #SafetyFirst Click To Tweet

2. Have your future superstar wear more protective gear.

A helmet is more than a cool accessory to wear. It protects the head from serious injury. Helmets with facial cages—like the ones they use in hockey or football—amp up the protection factor substantially, keeping your children’s teeth safe and sound while delivering protection to their head and brain – warding off concussions.

We here at Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry recommend that your little heroes wear both a mouth guard and a helmet with a facial cage for maximum teeth protection.

3. Try non-contact sports as an alternative.

Non-contact sports are a great option for those children who are interested in being active. In non-contact sports, players remain in lanes or zones, away from each other and away from serious injury.

You may be familiar with some of these sports that are considered non-contact:

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

In swimming, however, you want your little heroes to be careful as diving into the shallow end or horseplay near the edge of the pool can cause chipped teeth or worse. Chlorine is also known to eat away at the enamel and cause discoloration, so make sure that your children aren’t drawing water into their mouths.

More than 5 million teeth are lost each year during sports. Over $500 million is spent replacing them. #SportsSafety Click To Tweet

4. Hydrate with water, not sugary sports drinks.

Water is the perfect drink to keep your children dehydrated. Don’t buy into the hype of sugary sports drinks and the supposed “benefits” they offer.

A 12-ounce serving of Gatorade has around 21 grams of sugar. But since a bottle of Gatorade usually comes in a 32-ounce bottle, you’re actually looking at close to 56 grams of sugar! That is plenty of sugar to feed the bacteria living on your children’s teeth. This bacteria eats the sugar and secretes an acid that eats away at the enamel causing cavities.

Keep your little heroes’ teeth safe during Youth Sports Safety Month and every month after with the help of Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry.

Aside from these four solid tips for keeping your children’s teeth safe during sports, bring them in for a routine cleaning and check up. Our expert pediatric dentists in Laredo and throughout the Rio Grande Valley are focused on delivering a quality experience for your children.

To schedule an appointment, contact us at any of our Rio Grande Valley dental offices today.

Are you a Little Hero?

Request an Appointment