This Ain’t Yo Momma’s Parenting Tip

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There are certain basic parenting truths that we pass along to our kids. For the sake of this blog post, let’s call them “Rules For Surviving Childhood 101.” For the most part, the rules contain obvious statements that have been passed along from generation to generation. The list might look something like this…

Rules for Surviving Childhood 101

  • Look both ways before crossing the street
  • Don’t talk to strangers
  • It’s not polite to whisper (or point, or pick your nose)
  • If on fire, stop! drop! roll!
  • Don’t swim for 20 minutes after eating
  • Brush your teeth to avoid cavities (and bad breath)

While our list looks pretty complete, there is a big rule that is missing. Children today are likely involved with more activities than we were. As our awareness of team and full-contact sports has increased, it’s become apparent that mouth guards are a smart way to reduce the risk of trauma to the mouth and head.

You’d be surprised by the number of families that come into our office with a child that is missing one or more teeth. In nearly all cases, this issue could have been avoided by wearing a custom-fit mouth guard. Statistics support what we are seeing in our office. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety:

Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard.

The American Dental Association advises custom mouthguards be worn during practice and game time for the following sports: basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. The National Children’s Hospital also recommends adding baseball and softball infielders on that list.

If your kids push back on the idea, remind them that broken and missing teeth do not grow back. A Google image search can be your secret weapon to win the argument if the kids are still not convinced. Even if you have to take the hardline approach and insist on them wearing a mouthguard whether they like it or not – it’s a parenting decision you will not regret.

Not all mouthguards are created equal. You can purchase a ready-made option at the grocery store – while economical, they aren’t your best defense against mouth damage. A step up is a take-and-boil product that can be fitted at home. However, drawbacks include limited lifespan due to tearing and erosion. The best option is a custom-fit mouthguard that can be made at our office. Ordering your child’s mouth guard through Paragon Dental ensures the best fit and comfort that won’t interfere with breathing.

Your child’s safety is important to us! Working together, we’ll ensure that your kids are as healthy and safe as possible, both on and off the field. Let’s improve our parenting practices and raise the bar to “Parenting Tips Level 201”. We have more information than our parents did. Let’s put our knowledge to good use for the future of our kids. To learn more about a custom mouth guard for your child, contact our office today!

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