You wouldn’t send your kid off to play football or ride their bike without wearing a helmet. Yet many parents let their children play sports without making sure their little teeth are protected by a mouthguard. These trays worn over the teeth can help prevent an extra trip to your emergency dentist. Read on to learn all about mouthguards and why your child should wear one.
What Are Mouthguards?
A mouthguard, also known as a sports guard, is a durable plastic tray worn over the top teeth to protect the teeth, as well as the soft tissues in the mouth, from injury due to impact. They should be worn not only during contact sports like football, but also in any physical activity, even just skating or gymnastics. If you’re a parent, you already know that when it comes to your child’s safety, you can never be too careful.
Why Should Your Child Wear One?
Studies have shown that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer from injuries to the teeth and mouth, such as:
- Fully or partially dislodged teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Lacerations to the tongue, gums, cheeks, or lips
- Damage to the jaw
What Are the Types of Mouthguards?
There are 3 basic kinds of mouthguards:
- Stock. You can get these pre-fitted, inexpensive mouthguards at pretty much every sporting goods store or pharmacy. However, they usually don’t fit well, and can make breathing and speaking difficult.
- Boil and bite. These sports guards often fit slightly better because they can be molded to the shape of your teeth. First you soften them in boiling water, and then bite down on them to fit them to the unique form of your mouth.
- Custom-fitted. You can only get these from your dentist. They may be more expensive than the others, but it’s worth the investment because they fit better and provide more protection.
Why Should Your Kid Wear a Custom Mouthguard from Their Dentist?
Although they cost more than the others, you should definitely invest in a custom-made mouthguard from your child’s dentist. The dentist can take impressions of your kid’s unique bite and make a mouthguard that fits them and only them. Because they fit more accurately, they offer more protection against injuries. So really, you’re saving money in the long run by preventing future trips to the emergency room due to dental injuries.
As you can see, there is no shortage of benefits when it comes to wearing a mouthguard. Protect your little one’s precious smile by asking their dentist about crafting a custom mouthguard today.
About the Author
Dr. Parnam Mohanna has worked in the dental industry for more than 26 years, and has achieved Fellowship and Diplomate status with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He is also a Fellow with the prestigious Misch Implant Institute. His practice, Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry in Glenpool, OK, offers custom-made mouthguards to protect smiles of all ages, especially little ones. To learn more, contact the doctor on his website or call (918) 216-1000.