Sports activities are fun times for kids. These events allow them to interact with other children while they build up their skills, strength, and agility in sports. On the other side of the coin though are supportive parents who worry about their kids’ safety. After all, injuries can happen anytime in sports. But do not worry, these injuries can be prevented by safeguarding our kids with protective gear as they play.
More often than not, your child needs a helmet or knee pads to protect his or her head and knees when playing. The same protection applies in using a mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth from getting chipped, or even tooth loss while engaged in sports.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a third of all dental injuries reported are sports-related. Studies also show that more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouthguard, and athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to get a dental injury while playing sports.
A mouthguard, also called mouth protector, can help cushion a tough blow to the face that otherwise might cause a severe injury to the teeth and mouth.
A mouthguard usually covers the upper teeth, or sometimes, both upper and bottom teeth. A mouthguard reduces the risk of your child getting a broken tooth and it also helps in protecting the tongue, lips, gums, and jaw whenever he plays sports. Take note though that a mouthguard will not prevent the hit to your child’s mouth, it will act like a ‘shock absorber’ so to speak – reducing the effect and severity of the injury.
There are several types of mouthguards. Plastic mouthguards are generic, inexpensive, and can be bought from any sporting goods shop. There is also what we call a boil and bite mouthguard that allows a better fit to a user’s mouth. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to do a custom-fit mouthguard for your child. This kind of mouthguard is the best choice for protection, ease, and durability.
Whatever you decide to get, just make sure that the mouthguard will fit perfectly into your child’s mouth. Talk to your child’s dentist about possibly using a mouthguard for your child, especially if your little one is an active lover of sports.
Mouthguards, MouthHealthy.org by American Dental Association (https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards)
The Importance of Mouthguards When Playing Sports, Orthodontics Australia (https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/importance-mouthguard-playing-sport/)
The Importance of Mouthguards, 123Dentist.com by Community Dentist Network (https://www.123dentist.com/the-importance-of-mouthguards/)
Policy Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries,
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) (https://www.aapd.org/research/oral-health-policies–recommendations/prevention-of-sports-related-orofacial-injuries/)