If your child plays football, hockey, or any other contact sport, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with mouthguards. They are those hard, plastic pieces athletes wear to protect their teeth during a game (or to chew in between plays).
Most sports organizations don’t require athletes to wear mouthguards. Therefore, it’s easy for a parent to think that this type of protective gear is unnecessary; in fact, a survey from the American Association of Orthodontists found that 84 percent of children do not wear mouthguards while playing organized sports.
However, forgetting this simple protective tool can be very dangerous for your kid!
Your child’s teeth need just as much protection as their head, knees, or shoulders – which is why mouthguards are just as important as helmets, pads, and other safety equipment. Today, let’s discuss how a mouthguard can make your child’s sports experience safer.
What Mouthguards You Should Consider
Mouthguards may not look like much, but they play a big role in protecting your teeth during sports. A guard acts as both a protective layer and a cushion for the wearer’s mouth and teeth. This can help prevent a child from chipping a tooth or knocking it out during sports. It is also incredibly helpful if your child has braces, as the mouthguard can protect their brackets and wires from damage.
In addition to protecting the teeth, mouthguards also provide support to the gums, lips, and jaw. For example, a mouthguard may prevent a child from accidentally biting his or her lip after being tackled during football – ultimately sparing the child from immense pain and possible stitches and facial scarring.
Just how much do mouthguards help young athletes? According to the ADA, mouthguards prevent over 200,000 oral injuries each and every year! This statistic alone should prove just how valuable this little piece of safety equipment can be.
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Ok, you understand that mouthguards are important in some sports, but does EVERY child need to use one? Not exactly. We primarily recommend mouthguards for kids and teens who play high contact sports like:
However, these are not the only sports that can become safer with a mouthguard. Kids who skateboard, mountain bike, box or wrestle, or play water polo can also benefit from wearing a mouthguard. Basically, if you think your child might fall on their face – or have something thrown at them – it’s worth it to consider protection for their teeth.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards on the market today:
- Stock Mouth Protectors: the one-size-fits-all options you find at most sporting goods stores
- Boil and Bite Protectors: a semi-custom option, in which you use hot water to soften the plastic and mold it around your bite
- Custom Protectors: a specially designed option created just for your child at your dentist’s office
Whichever type of mouthguard you decide to buy for your child, it is important that the piece fit properly. To be effective, a mouthguard should be durable, fit snugly against the gums, and not cause any pain.
If you think your child needs a mouthguard for sports, talk to your dentist and see which type of guard they recommend.
Get Your Mouthguard Today
At Aurora Dental Group, we are proud to provide young athletes with the Armourbite custom mouthguard. This piece is highly durable and offers incredible protection – and best of all, we can make one for your child in a mere 20 minutes!
If you’re interested in getting a custom mouthguard for your child, please call our office today!