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A Must-Have for Back-to-School Sports

By Christina Elston

As your kids gear up for fall sports, don’t forget to protect their smiles. While mouth guards are important safety equipment for nearly all sports, research has shown that soccer players suffer triple the number of mouth and face injuries – and basketball players suffer twice the number – as football players.

Starting early is the key to ensuring that your kids will wear mouth guards. “It makes them begin to see a mouth guard as part of the sport, part of the uniform,” says Sandra Madison, D.D.S., past president of the American Association of Endodontists. When choosing a mouth guard, consult with your family dentist, or your orthodontist if your child wears braces, Madison recommends.

Then have your child take the mouth guard to regular dental checkups – every six months – to have it evaluated for wear and tear, and proper fit.

 Christina Elston is the contributing health editor for United Parenting Publications.

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