The last thing you want when Junior’s rounding third is a dental injury. No matter the skill level of the athletes, thing inevitably go wrong in sports. Kids trip and fall, balls fly into faces, and two players sometimes collide. Dental injuries are fairly common. In fact, 5 million teeth are lost every year due to sports-related accidents!
But there is some good news: many dental injuries are preventable with the help of a well-fitting athletic mouthguard from Dentistry for Children! Our practice specializes in the oral development and care of little smiles, so you’ll feel great knowing our team of all-star pediatric dentists is overseeing fabrication of your child’s mouthguard.
Read on for more information about how athletic mouthguards can save your young athlete’s smile. Then, give us a call at our Murray, UT office or any of our convenient locations! There’s plenty of time to have a mouthguard made before the spring season is in full swing.
Does My Child Need A Mouthguard?
Increasingly, various sports-related governing bodies have been making mouthguards mandatory for young athletes, particularly when it comes to contact sports. And there’s a good reason for that.
Recent studies suggest that athletes who failed to wear properly fitting mouthguards were twice as likely to suffer a dental injury than their mouthguard-wearing counterparts.
What’s more, a study of collegiate basketball players showed that those who wore custom-made mouthguards — like the ones you can get from Dentistry for Children — sustained significantly fewer dental injuries than players who didn’t wear them. And some school districts have begun to encourage the use of mouthguards, saying they reduce children’s risk of concussions.
It’s always a good idea for kids engaging in contact sports, such as boxing or football, to wear mouthguards. But it’s also important to remember that dental injuries can occur in any recreational activity, meaning that a mountain biker could also benefit from an athletic mouthguard.
If you’re wondering whether or not your child should wear a mouthguard, talk with your coach or review your team guidelines. This will help you determine whether a mouthguard is a mandatory part of your child’s uniform or just a good idea.
Can’t I Just Buy A Mouthguard From The Store?
The ability of a mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth and gums depends entirely on its fit, and the only way to guarantee a proper fit is to have one custom-made for you by experienced dental professionals. Plus, custom-made mouthguards tend to be of better quality, and they can be personalized to fit the intensity of the sport it’s intended for.
That said, it’s always a good idea to know what your options are so you can make the decision that’s best for your child. There are three types of mouthguards:
- One-size-fits-all. These inexpensive mouthguards are ready to wear, but because they’re not made to fit your child’s teeth, they’re not effective at providing protection. In fact, wearing an ill-fitting mouthguard can do more harm than good!
- Boil and bite. As the name suggests, these mouthguards are softened in boiling water, and then you bite down on them for a more personalized fit. These are better than one-size-fits-all devices, but they’re not as good as custom-made ones.
- Custom-made. These mouthguards are made by a dentist to protect your child’s set of teeth specifically. These are a great choice if your child has braces or other dental work that needs special protection.
Common Types Of Dental Injuries
Athletic mouthguards help prevent dental injuries that would cause damage to the teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
The three most common types of sports-related dental injuries are:
- Cracked teeth, generally caused by a blow to the face. This type of injury usually causes pain that comes and goes but is present when you bite down.
- Fractured roots. The bony supporting structures of teeth aren’t immune to cracks. This type of injury often requires a root canal procedure to save the tooth. Otherwise, it could fall victim to infection and eventually be lost.
- Tooth intrusion. Teeth can be knocked out, but sometimes, they’re simply knocked back into the jawbone. This is called intrusion, and it’s more likely to occur in permanent teeth than it is to occur in baby teeth.
With any dental injury, the sooner you seen a dentist, the better. Leaving it alone can cause the problem to worsen, potentially requiring extensive curative procedures, extractions, and having to find teeth replacement solutions.
Protect Your Star Athlete’s Smile
You wouldn’t skimp on your athlete’s helmet, bat, racket, or any other piece of sporting equipment. So don’t forget to send them out with a high-quality athletic mouthguard!
Think of it as a small insurance policy on your child’s teeth; making an investment in a good mouthguard up front can prevent a dental disaster later.
Call Dentistry for Children today at any of our locations to schedule an appointment! You can also use our convenient online form.