Why Are Mouthguards Important?

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Does your child play any contact sports like basketball, football, and soccer? If so, you would want to ask your pediatric dentist about getting a mouthguard. There are far too many children who damage their teeth that could have been prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Active kids or athletes who do not wear it are 60 times more likely to hurt their teeth. Often, these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures, which would require medical attention.

Mouthguard, also known as sports guard or athletic mouth protectors, is essential equipment for any child participating in potentially harmful activity. Mouthguards are equally crucial as helmet and shoulder or knee pad. Fitting snugly over the upper teeth protects the entire oral region from traumatic injury, preserving the beauty of the child’s teeth and smile. More so, it also decreases the prevalence of cheek lesions, concussions, gum and tissue injuries, jawbone fracture, tongue lesions, and tooth fractures. Aside from sports injury, mouth guards also protect teeth from trauma resulting from teeth grinding.

Ask your pediatric dentist to recommend the best type of mouth guard for your child, especially if he or she has braces or other orthodontic devices that could cause further injury and be damaged upon contact. Your dentist may vouch for any of the three types of mouth guard:

  • Custom Mouth Guard: These are custom-fitted that are made by dentists. Though this may be a bit pricey compared to others, these provide the best protection and are most comfortable because they fit precisely in the mouth and are more likely to stay in place.

  • Boil and Bite Mouth Guard: These mouth protectors are available at many sporting stores or drug stores. Also known as self-adapted mouth guards, these are molded by boiling the guard in the water and then allowing the user to bite down on the heated plastic. Although, this may seem like customized, boil and bite mouth guards are not as strong as a custom mouthguard and have a chance of bite-through problems.

  • Stock Mouth Guard: These guards offer necessary protection by fitting loosely over the teeth. Though these are the most affordable option, these can make it difficult to breathe or speak because the teeth must be clenched to keep it in place.

An effective mouthguard should be comfortable, durable, easy to clean, and allows your child to breathe and speak effortlessly.

Tips on caring for a mouth guard include:

  • Rinse before and after use by using toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Occasionally clean the mouthguard with cold, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly
  • Transport the mouth guards in a sturdy container that has vents
  • Never leave the guards in the sun or hot water
  • Check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

We believe that if you train your child to wear a mouthguard while young, it will be a natural routine to always reach for a mouthguard when suiting up for play.

We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.

You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.

Sources:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Mouthguards.aspx

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/importantreasons-for-mouth-guards

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