Children who play outside get the opportunity to stay active, have fun and enjoy the great outdoors. However, outdoor play can sometimes be dangerous. For example, according to the CDC, more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 sustain playground-related injuries every year. Undoubtedly, a portion of these injuries result in dental complications, such as tooth loss. No matter how old your child is, make sure you know how to protect your children's mouth, teeth and gums during periods of active play.
Don't Snack and Play
Make sure you keep playtime separate from snack time. A sippy cup or potato chip might seem harmless, but when your child is running around, these items pose a threat. In terms of a sippy cup, if your child falls and the hard plastic part of the cup comes in contact with one of their teeth, this impact could be strong enough to loosen or completely dislodge their tooth.
In terms of a potato chips, should the child fall, the sharp edges of the chip could easily cut their gums. If your child cuts their gum and you aren't aware of it, the different bacteria naturally found in their mouth could get inside the cut and cause an infection. Make certain your child has finished their snack before they start playing again.
Don't Skimp on Mouthguards
If your child is involved in competitive sports, make certain you allow them to wear a mouthguard. However, don't make the mistake of using just any mouthguard. Some parents assume that over-the-counter guards offer the same protection as custom-made options available from dental providers. The reality is that custom-made mouthguards offer greater protection.
Pre-made guards are designed as a one-size-fits-all option that leaves space between the guard and your child's teeth. This extra space can cause the guard to shift. This can lead to gum irritation and if the guard slips off your child's teeth, in the event of contact, it will be unable to protect your child against tooth loss. Custom-made options fit snugly over your child's teeth and they don't move.
As a parent, protecting your children should be your main priority. In the event your child suffers a dental injury while playing, make certain you are seeking treatment from their dental provider as soon as possible. Make certain you are putting forth an effort to keep your children safe while they are having fun. A local dentist, such as Ahwatukee Foothills Dental, can help answer any questions you have on safe dental care practices.