Importance of Mouthguards for Children Active in Sports

mouthguardHelmets, goggles, and kneepads are a given, but what about mouthguards? How many of us parents worry about the safety of our children’s teeth when they are out there hitting the ball? According to dentists in the US, 5 million people lose teeth or suffer other oral injuries in the country because of contact sports, and a significant chunk of this number is children.

But still, mouthguard is not the go-to injury protection we think of at playtime. Is it important? Of course, yes. A mouthguard is meant to protect the teeth against direct impact from falling or a football that has come flying the face. It makes sure that the teeth remain intact, and there is no significant injury to the gums. Read on to understand the importance of mouthguards for children active in sports, especially contact sports like rugby, wrestling, baseball and lacrosse, and martial arts.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a small device made of plastic. It has to be worn inside the mouth covering the front teeth, and it takes care of the cheeks, jaw, and tongue in case of an impact. It protects against problems like broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, root damage, fractured jaws, fractured crowns, and concussions.

Kids aged between 8 and 12 years should compulsorily wear these small devices. Kids who do not play contact sports but are involved with the likes of skateboarding, climbing, and mountain biking should also protect their teeth with the help of mouth guards. It is also possible to wear mouth guards with braces. Talk to your child’s dentist or orthodontics about the possibility, and they will be able to prescribe you’re the right type of mouthguard. Different types of mouth guards can be purchased based on the requirement of your child.

Pre-formed Mouth Guard or Stock Mouth Guard

These can be purchased from any of the sports equipment stores. They are ready to wear and are usually one-size-fits-all. Pre-formed mouthguards are the least expensive of the lot, but they can be uncomfortable and often restrict talking. Furthermore, they may not provide the level of protection your child needs. Therefore, do not go for these unless you do not have any other option.

Mouth-Formed Mouth Guards

Mouth-formed mouth guards can be boil or bite mouth guards or shell liner mouth guards. The shell liner ones are lined with acrylic gel or rubber, both of which mold to the teeth and set on them. The boil and bite mouth guards need to be placed in the boiling water, and they are molded according to the contours using bite force, fingers, and lips. This type of mouth guards can be boiled and re-fitted for a perfect fit. You can purchase both the types mentioned above at a sporting goods store of your local drug store.

Custom-fitted Mouth Guards

Dentists make Custom-fitted mouthguards based on their patient’s requirements. If your child wears braces, has protruding jaw-line or other oral issues, and is interested in contact sports, you should discuss the same with your child’s dentist. These are made from a cast, so they fit precisely and are very comfortable. They also provide the best protection against oral injuries.

Yes, custom-fitted mouthguards are expensive, but they are worth their price and the time spent n getting them made. Please note that your child’s mouth will grow as he/she grows, so you might have to get their mouth guards re-made or re-fitted with time.

Quick Facts about Mouth Guards

♦  Your child can speak while wearing a mouthguard, and it will not interrupt breathing.

♦  Most mouthguards are highly comfortable. If they aren’t, you should discuss that with the dentist and ask for a change.

♦  Mouthguards are odorless and tasteless and are very easy to clean.

♦  Your child’s mouth guard will stay in place, no matter what he/she plays. It won’t move or get dislodged.

Recommendation for Using Mouth Guard

Mouthguards are simple to use, but you will have to take care of some basic rules to ensure that your child stays fit while using them and the mouth guard provides them the protection they need.

♦  Ask your child to brush their teeth and floss before wearing the mouth guard.

♦  Washing the mouthguard after use is essential.

♦  Wearing another person’s mouthguard is a strict no-no.

♦  Giving the mouth guard a rinse with a good mouth wash will effectively disinfect it.

♦  Mouthguards should be stored in a well-ventilated storage box.

♦  If a mouth guard is uncomfortable, you should immediately report that to your dentist.

♦  Get medical help if you believe your child is sick because of using an infected or dirty mouthguard.

A mouthguard can be a vital piece of protection when playing sports that can cause injury. Check out your nearest Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics center if they can help you out.

Shift Frequency © 2020 – Importance of Mouthguards for
Children Active in Sports

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