Protecting Kids’ Teeth During Sports

Protecting Kids’ Teeth During Sports

Boy putting in his sports mouth guardWearing a mouth guard during sports activities is one of the best ways to avoid injuries to your child’s teeth & emergency dental care. Mouth guards, which are made from a plastic or rubber material & fit over the top arch of teeth, not only protect your teeth, but also protect lips & cheeks from being damaged by teeth during an impact.

What many children & their parents fail to realize is that mouth guards should be worn even when participating in low contact sports. While we’re used to seeing football, basketball, lacrosse & hockey players wearing mouth guards, they should also be worn by soccer players, skateboarders, skiers & snowboarders, gymnasts & ice skaters. If you can imagine any kind of impact to the face in the sport your child participates in, it’s worth it to protect their teeth with a sports guard.

The best option for a sports guard is to have it custom made by your kid’s dentist. Custom fit mouth guards fitted by a dentist have been shown in studies to offer the best possible protection for teeth. In addition to being more effective, dentist-made mouth guards are more comfortable & are less likely to impede breathing because they are designed to fit your child’s mouth specifically. The more comfortable the mouth guard is, the more likely your child will actually wear it! And of course, the less likely they’ll need emergency dental care.

There are also over-the-counter options for mouth guards, including ready-made & boil-and-bite guards. However, to ensure that these are effective at preventing injury, you should only buy those that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Mouthguards that don’t have this seal may not meet the dental profession’s standards for protecting teeth & lips.

We should also note that only mouth guards custom made by a dentist have been proven to protect against concussions/traumatic brain injury from an impact [source]. Over-the-counter options do not provide nearly as much protection from concussions.

Sports mouth guards should be replaced every season. Replacements are necessary because mouth guards can wear out over time but also because children’s teeth are still moving & developing, which can affect whether the mouth guard fits properly over time.

Be sure that your child has their sports guard well before their sports season or training starts so they can get used to how it feels. Make an appointment with your kids dentist to talk about getting a sports guard as soon as possible!

What’s the Difference Between DDS & DMD?

What’s the Difference Between DDS & DMD?

Dentist degrees DMD vs. DDSAs dentists we know we sometimes speak a slightly different, more clinical, language than our patients. We try not to be mysterious, but sometimes what’s common knowledge to us could be confusing to our patients. One common thing that patients want to know is the meaning of the different letters you see after our names: either DDS or DMD. So what’s the difference? Is one better than the other?

The answer is actually very simple: there is no difference! DDS (which stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery) & DMD (which stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) are exactly the same degree. Whether a dentist holds a DMD or a DDS degree, they have received all of the same training. The only difference is that some universities choose to call their dental degree DDS & some choose DMD.

So, for example, if Dr. John Smith received his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania & Dr. Jane Doe earned here DDS from UCLA, both doctors received the same level of clinical training.

You will sometimes see even more letters after some dentists’ names, such as FICOI or MAGD. These don’t represent university degrees, but actually indicate a level of additional training that a dentist has received beyond dental school. If you’re curious about what these letters stand for, ask your dentist! He or she spent lots of time & energy earning the designation & will be happy to share how their extra expertise helps him or her keep your smile healthy.

Bonus info: You will sometimes see the words BDS after some overseas dentists’ names. Dentists in places like Europe or India who hold BDS degrees are fully trained & qualified dentists in their countries. However, due to differences in certification requirements, foreign dentists with BDS degrees will need to also earn their DDS or DMD degrees in order to practice dentistry in the United States or Canada.

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