Browse Category: Children’s oral health

How to get kids engaged in their oral health.

Mouth guards and baseball

 A few seasons ago, I watched a kid run off the field spitting out teeth and blood and I couldn’t help but think his injuries could be minimal if he had a mouth guard in. Why is it so many sports require mouth guards as a standard of the uniform but, for some reason, baseball is left out of this requirement? The lack of player-to-player contact and the slower pace of the sport gives a false sense of comfort, illustrating the lack of need for mouth protection. This couldn’t be farther from  accurate. A thin streamlined mouth guard would be extremely beneficial for baseball and softball players for a variety of reasons. 

  • The batter- a wild pitch or a ball off the helmet can catch the batter right in the face or head. 
  • Base running- colliding with the baseman could mean a concusion and a mouth guard is an easy safe protection. 
  • Fielders- a ball takes a bad hop and knocks you right in the mouth. 
  • Catcher -yes they have a protective helmet on but they are the most susceptible player to be involved in collisions increasing their concussion risk.  

As I sit and watch my son slide into home, catch a bouncing ball at short stop or get hit by a wild pitch I can’t help to wonder why baseball doesn’t make this a requirement, like many other sports. Would I be able to get at 13 year old to be compliant with my wishes if his team thinks it’s ‘not cool’? Would the league see the benifits and make it a rule? Will baseball catch on once more teeth are broken or lost? I’m hoping some day soon our players will all be sporting the mouth protection they need and deserve and we can reduce the dental accidents associated with baseball. 
Please share your thoughts on this topic. If you have any suggestions please share. 

Those darn braces and my sassy son!

  I know I can’t be alone on this! I have a 13 year old son in full Ortho-I’m sure you already know where this is going…13 year old…Ortho…ugh! 

I pretty much have to check his teeth daily to make sure he’s taking good care of them, but let’s be real, who has that kind of discipline?  Most days, the best I do is at least ask him if he brushed and flossed. Some nights I actually remember to examine them, like the night before an Ortho check up! Guilty! I instantly get embarrassed seeing how inflamed the gums are especially around the lower anteriors. The past month I was in disbelief when I saw demineralization on the cervical margin. I was angry with him but more disgusted with myself for not checking him more often. I know better! I am fully aware that most 13 year olds are content with sliding the toothbrush up one side and down the other and call it a job well done. The embarrassing part comes the next day when we show our face at the Ortho appointment. They know. They know he hasn’t been brushing and flossing. They know I haven’t been checking him carefully. The worst is they know I’m a dental hygienist! What hygienist wants to hear oral hygiene instruction from their Ortho office? Not this girl!

Of course, the next day or two after the appointment we are back on board. He’s brushing with the electric toothbrush he’s had for years, flossing with the Ortho flossers, rinsing with fluoride rinse and I’m carefully checking his work to make sure things look good. This is great! We can do this! …for a day or two… Than we are right back into our old lazy habits.