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Hockey Season is Starting! How Much Is a New Set of Teeth?

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Every year, over half a million Canadian kids take part in a rite of passage.  They wake their parents up early (too early!) to be driven with large bags full of equipment, bags that often heavier than they are, to start the hockey season at the local arena.  It’s a time-honoured tradition, as Canadian as beavers and maple syrup.

Another time-honoured tradition is the post-game interview on Hockey Night in Canada.  If players are lucky, they get a chance to hit the locker room to put in their teeth before the cameras start rolling.  Most of the time they’re not that fortunate, and neither is the audience.  Oh, dear.  That’s unattractive!

That’s why they call it safety equipment

Missing teeth in school pictures are cute for a kid in grade one, but it’s decidedly less adorable in high school.

While helmets have been required for a long time, Hockey Canada only recently mandated the use of full-face masks for its young players.  It’s a big step in the right direction for sure.  Combined with a mouth guard, a full-face mask offers great dental protection for kids on the ice during formal practices and games.  In fact, the risks of all serious facial injuries are dramatically reduced with the new rules.

But what about the pick-up game that started in the laneway five minutes ago?  That errant stick will do just as much damage off the ice.  Did your budding Crosby grab his (or her!) helmet and mouth guard before charging out the door?

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…

When the laneway pick-up game goes awry and you’re in the dentist’s office with a couple knocked out teeth sitting in a cup of milk, you may be surprised to learn just how much that forgotten helmet is going to set you back.

Many factors affect the cost of emergency treatment for broken or knocked out teeth, like a need for additional procedures, the location of the dentist’s office and the materials used to build the replacement teeth, but a rough estimate is…

$700-1500 – PER TOOTH!

Feel free to take a moment to catch your breath.

Avoidance is the best strategy

Obviously the best thing to do is avoid having teeth damaged or knocked out in the first place.  Now that you know a simple “Oooops!” could put a serious dent in your retirement plans, feel free to use your most stern parent voice to insist on full-face protection and a mouth guard at all times when playing hockey, even just horsing around with friends in the laneway.

If your child is one of those thousands of kids heading to the arena this autumn, before you sign those registration forms and waivers, if you don’t have dental insurance you should seriously consider the cost of insurance premiums versus the cost of a new set of teeth!

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