Why Children Need Mouthguards for Contact Sports

Why Children Need Mouthguards for Contact Sports

Oct 07, 2013

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 1/3 of all mouth injuries may be related to sports. Mouthguards can decrease the number of injuries when used properly.

Dental injuries include:

  • Chipped/broken teeth
  • Lost teeth
  • Fractured crowns
  • Root damage

Mouthguards cover the upper teeth and should always be used in contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. Children who participate in incidental contact sports such as baseball, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, and wrestling can also benefit from wearing mouthguards.

There are three types of mouthguards currently available to young athletes:

Stock. These inexpensive mouthguards are pre-formed so they can be worn right away. They can be difficult to wear because of their bulkiness. The fit is often uncomfortable because the mouthguard it not adapted to an individual mouth.

Boil and bite. These are the mouthguards often purchased in sporting goods stores. First you boil it in water until it softens. Then you insert it in your child’s mouth so that it can adapt to his or her bite.

Custom. Your dentist fits your child for a custom mouthguard. They cost more than the other two versions but offer the best fit for your child.

If your child wears braces then your dentist may suggest a mouthguard to protect the brackets. Other fixed orthodontal appliances may also require a mouthguard to protect your child’s cheeks and lips from injuries.  Removable appliances such as retainers should never be worn while playing contact sports.

Make sure your child knows how to take care of a mouthguard properly. They need to be rinsed before and after using and cleaned with cool, soapy water every so often. Mouthguards should never be left in the sun and it is best to transport them in a sturdy vented containers. Contact your dentist for advice about the best mouthguard for your child.

Image Source: northridgedentist.com

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/children-need-mouthguards-contact-sports

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