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Should My Child Wear a Mouthguard for Sports?

Sports-related injuries continue to be a leading cause of dental emergencies, with a staggering 25 million Americans sustaining dental trauma and more than 5 million teeth lost each year! That’s why your trusted team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry recommends protecting every athlete’s smile with a custom mouthguard. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

What Are Common Sports-Related Dental Injuries?

Dental injuries that often occur during sports are knocked out, fractured, dislodged, and chipped teeth, as well as soft tissue damage, including injury to the lips, tongue, or gums. Moreover, many young athletes fracture their tooth roots and injure their jaws. 

What Are Sports Mouthguards and Why Are They Necessary?

Sports mouthguards are oral appliances athletes wear to prevent dental injuries due to trauma to the face. These protective gear are made of a thick material designed to cushion blows and absorb the force of sudden impacts. Sports mouthguards protect the whole mouth, including the teeth, gums, soft tissues, and any orthodontic appliance.

According to the American Dental Association, wearing sports mouthguards prevents more than 200,000 dental injuries each year. Moreover, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that athletes are 60 times more likely to sustain teeth damage without sports mouthguards, with the potential for developing long-term dental problems.

Who Should Wear a Sports Mouthguard?

The American Dental Association recommends that anyone participating in a sport that carries a significant risk of sustaining a mouth injury wear a mouth protector. These include football, hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, and gymnastics. Consider your child’s sports mouthguard an essential piece of athletic equipment for any sports involving body contact, falls, or flying equipment.

What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?

There are different mouthguard options for your child. Stock guards are premade and come in different sizes. Boil and bite mouthguards are softened in hot water and inserted in your child’s mouth, then molded for a more customized fit. Both these store-bought options don’t always fit well and may restrict your child’s speech and breathing. Custom-fitted mouthguards, created at a dentist’s office from impressions of your child’s teeth, offer the best fit, comfort, and protection!

Caring for Your Child’s Sports Mouthguard

Have your child rinse the mouthguard before and after each use. Regularly clean it with soapy water and rinse it thoroughly before storing it or placing it in the mouth. Avoid using hot water or leaving the mouthguard in the sun to prevent any warping or damage.

When not in use, store the sports mouthguard in a sturdy container with vents to keep it safe and dry and prevent bacteria growth. If the mouthguard shows any signs of wear, damage, or distortion, it’s time to replace it so your child continues to have maximum protection against sports-related dental injuries.

Sports Mouthguards in Glendale, AZ

Visit Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to outfit your child with a state-of-the-art sports mouthguard. Our team is all about safeguarding our young patients’ smiles to prevent injuries or complications down the road. Call us and schedule your appointment today!