Sports are a good way to keep kids active. Aside from helmets and knee pads, it’s also important to protect their teeth using mouthguards. But why are mouthguards necessary? In this post, we discussed the key reasons your mouthguards are indispensable in contact sports.
Mouthguards are made of flexible plastic specifically molded to fit children’s mouths. It wraps around the teeth to shield them against impact.
Why Are Mouthguards Important for Kids’ Sports?
Mouthguards are required for children’s sporting events for good reasons. It’s a layer of protection, especially for contact sports where injuries are prevalent.
The benefits of wearing mouthguards have been proven throughout the years. According to the American Dental Association, around 200,000 oral injuries can be prevented annually by wearing mouthguards.
This is why children aged 8–12 are advised to wear this dental protection during sports. Such age is prone to damaged teeth, whatever the sport is.
Here’s why your child should always wear mouthguards during sports:
- It prevents tooth damage. As a shock absorber, mouthguards ultimately prevent broken or lost teeth. In addition, it serves as a buffer to disperse the force so that it won’t fracture the tooth structure.
- It prevents cheek and gum damage. Aside from shielding the teeth, mouthguards also prevent injuries on the cheek and gums. This is why mouthguards are often oversized to cover through the gum area.
- It’s required by sports organizers. Legitimate sports events will require competing children to wear mouthguards. This is often observed when playing lacrosse, hockey, soccer, football, and basketball. Even non-contact sports are now requiring children to wear one.
- It prevents fractured jaws. While mouthguards only cover the teeth and gum area, their protection includes the jaw area. By cushioning the force, the child is less likely to suffer from a dislocated or broken jaw upon impact.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard for Your Child
Parents have various options when it comes to their children’s mouthguards. They can choose from three types: pre-formed, boil-and-bite, and custom fit.
- Pre-formed. These mouthguards can be purchased at sporting goods stores for a very low price. It’s pre-made and has a universal fit. However, it tends to be bulky and can be difficult to put on and off. Pre-formed mouthguards still offer protection, but not as much as other types.
- Boil-and-bite. This is a tad better than pre-formed mouthguards. These mouth protectors are softened by soaking them in hot water. After that, it needs to be placed on the child’s mouth to let it conform to the teeth’ shape.
- Custom-fit. If your child is serious about competing in sports, you should invest in custom-fit mouthguards. Dentists can make this for your child to ensure that the protector is perfectly fit and comfortable to wear.
Mouthguards are simple accessories that offer a high level of protection for children. Whether it’s a high-speed baseball or a high kick in children’s karate, mouthguards can reduce the risk of injuries. Ensure that you consult your child’s dentist to get the best option.