We love our sports in Utah.
Maybe your kids dream of being like the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell. Maybe your little ones want to take the field for BYU or Utah, or maybe you enjoy skiing.
Whatever your family’s sport(s) of choice, we hope you are having fun and taking steps to protect yourselves. That should include wearing an athletic mouthguard anytime to you play or practice.
The American Dental Association estimates that 200,000 teeth are saved every year as a result of athletes wearing mouthguards while competing. Yet, a recent survey of parents revealed that just 16 percent of youth athletes take this step to protect their teeth.
At Dentistry for Children, we want to encourage anyone who takes to the court, the field, the ice, or the snow to save their smiles. It’s why we are happy to make custom-made sports mouthguards at each of our locations.
Short History of Mouthguards
Athletic mouthguards of one kind or another date back to at least the 1800s, although they didn’t become a staple of many sports until the 20th century.
It won’t surprise you to learn that boxers were the first athletes to embrace mouthguards as a standard piece of equipment. Although some boxers had been using mouthguard regularly for years, they became more important following a match in 1927 between Jack Sharkey and Mike McTigue. By all accounts, McTigue was winning the match when one of his teeth was chipped. This broken tooth cut his lip, and he had to forfeit in spite of his superiority in the ring.
After that, mouthguards became standard for combat athletes.
Football has always been a rough game, but in the 1940s and 1950s, 1 in 4 injuries (according to conservative estimates) were dental injuries in that sport. Now that mouthguards are mandatory, less than 1 percent of football injuries are considered dental injuries.
In fact, among kids, the two sports that cause the most oral injuries today are baseball (7 to 12-year-olds) and basketball (13 to 17-year-olds).
Knowing this, you may understand why the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend wearing a mouthguard during all high-impact sports.
You may be asking what is a high-impact sport?
It definitely includes combat and contact sports like boxing and football, respectively, but it includes a lot more than that, too.
To put it simply, your sport is considered “high-impact” if it involves at least one of the following:
- Physical contact between athletes
- Frequent jumping
- Frequent changes in speed and/or direction
- Flying objects (balls, pucks, etc.)
So, why should you care if you have a custom-fitted mouthguard? It’s simple: it provides better protection for your teeth.
For a good comparison, think about seat belts. You have them in your car. You wear yours and you expect your kids to wear theirs when you are driving. You don’t want to be in an accident, but you know that wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of a serious injury.
Now, think about a professional race car driver. Do they wear the same seat belt that you have in your family vehicle? No, they wear a five-point harness. They understand that driving on a track is riskier than driving to the store or to work.
Again, they don’t want to be in an accident, but they understand that risk is higher, so they take an added level of protection.
A boil-and-bite mouthguard is like the seat belt you have in your car, while a custom-made mouthguard is like the five-point harness that race drivers use. Which would you prefer for your kids to wear when they are competing?
Stay in the Game
We can treat dental emergencies at Dentistry for Children, but we would much rather make your family mouthguards instead.
To schedule an appointment with us, just contact either of our convenient locations: