If your child is playing a sport or taking part in a recreational activity, your biggest concern is always for your child’s safety. We want our children to be protected with pads and gear while playing contact sports, so why should we leave their teeth unprotected?
When Should My Child Wear A Mouthguard?
Anytime your child is doing an activity that has a strong chance for contact with other players or hard surfaces, it is preferable that they should wear a mouthguard. When playing sports such as basketball, soccer, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, rugby, baseball, and martial arts, mouthguards should always be worn. Also, when taking part in activities such as skateboarding and bicycling, children should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth in the event of a crash or fall.
Different Types of Mouthguards
Parents have a few different options for mouthguards, depending on budget, the age of the child and the amount of contact their son or daughter face in their sport. The main three types include over-the-counter plastic guards, over-the-counter boil and bite guards and custom fit guards. The over-the-counter guards are more affordable, but are less durable and usually do not fit as well as custom fit guards. Custom fit guards can only be obtained through a dentist, and although they are more expensive, they offer the best protection.
Do Mouthguards Really Prevent Injuries?
Yes, mouthguards protect from many potential injuries, and not just teeth related. Mouthguards can protect serious injuries including concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, jaw fractures and neck injuries by protecting the lower jaw from jamming into the upper jaw. Mouthguards are also effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, which prevents lacerations and bruises on the cheeks and lips, especially for kids who have braces.
Still Not Convinced?
If these reasons didn’t convince you that all players- no matter what age- should wear mouthguards during sports games, here are some more statistics to sway your opinion:
-5 million teeth are lost every year in sporting activities, accumulating nearly $500 million in cost for care
-34% of all sports injuries involve the face
-50 million children participate in organized sports in the U.S., and almost 1 in 10 children will suffer an orofacial injury
-200,000 injuries are prevented annually by mouthguard use