Aleaha Fettig, DDS Valerie Drake, DDS
1409 6th Ave. SE #8, Aberdeen, SD 57401 |
Back to the Field How We Keep Young Athletes Safe When I think of the back-to-school season, the first thing that comes to mind is school sports. I participated in a lot of different teams throughout the school year, so as summer started to wind down, I looked forward to getting back out onto the court or field. Growing up, I did cross- country, basketball, volleyball, dance, track, and pretty much anything else I could sign up for! As a kid, I was pretty active, a trait that I still possess to this day. For instance, I still play volleyball. It was always my favorite sport, and today I’m part of a rec league. Our next season starts up in October. Sports have always been a big part of my life, and I love to see kids getting active. School sports are a great way to learn teamwork, the value of hard work, sportsmanship, and healthy living. Of course, like any activity, there are some risks. Fortunately, safety equipment is always getting better, and as a dentist, it should be no surprise that I am a big supporter of quality mouthguards. There are three big reasons why kids need to be wearing mouthguards. First, and most obviously, mouthguards protect the teeth from trauma. We run into a lot of kids at the office who have suffered from chipped or broken teeth after things got a little too rough on the field. The good news is that, thanks to great advancements in cosmetic dentistry, it’s entirely possible to repair or replace damaged teeth in a way that looks totally natural. The bad news for young athletes is that we can’t do much in terms of restoration until kids are a lot older. Next, while they look uncomfortable, a good mouthguard can help athletes breathe better! The right kind of mouthguard is able to bring the jaw forward, opening the airway in a way that lets athletes get more oxygen, meaning they have the energy to play a little harder for a little longer. This is one reason why many basketball players in the NBA wear mouthguards.
Last, but perhaps most importantly, the best mouthguards are able to prevent or minimize the severity of a concussion if a player gets hit in the head. This is a big deal when you consider the fact that the Brain Trauma Foundation estimates 3.8 million athletes suffer from a concussion every year. Research published in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that football players who wear boil-and-bite mouthguards are twice as likely to suffer from a concussion than players who wear a customized mouthguard. At the office, we offer customized mouthguards so parents can rest assured knowing their athletes are getting the best possible protection. That said, if you aren’t able to invest in a custom mouthguard, I encourage you to make sure your child is wearing whatever mouthguard they have access to, even a boil- and-bite mouthguard from the sporting goods store. It can make all the difference. Here’s to all the students getting ready to go back to school, and to the athletes getting ready to get back on the field or court. I hope you have a wonderful season and I can’t wait to hear all about it! – Dr. Aleaha Fettig
Aberdeen Smiles • 605-225-2236 • 1
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.thenewsletterpro.com
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