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Mouthguards for Children

child-with-mouthguardDo you know that over 25℅ of dental injuries treated in kids are sports-related? Do you also know that the majority of these involves the front teeth?

Children who engage in various sporting activities stand to gain a whole lot of health benefits along sides having massive fun and a sense of fulfilment and achievement.  But the truth remains that, whatever has an advantage has a disadvantage too.

Does this mean your kids should be deprived of sporting activities? The obvious answer is “no.” Instead, every parent should know the potential dangers attached to sporting activities and take preventive measures.

How Prevalent Are Sports-Related Injuries?

According to the NYS Safety Foundation’s forecast in 2012, more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in the youth sporting events that year. This shows how prevalent sports-related dental injuries can be.

The trauma associated with sports-related injuries includes immediate pain, academic set-back due to absence from school, permanent tooth loss, lifetime treatment of the missing tooth, which can cost a fortune and so much more.

How Do I Prevent or Minimize the Possibilities of Dental Injury?

athletic-mouthguards

Well, the good news is, there is a rather simple, inexpensive, suitably-fitted and comfortable mouthguard. It is worn by athletes whenever they want to involve in any sporting activity with a high possibility of obtaining an orofacial injury.

Do you know that kids who play basketball are 15 times prone to mouth or face injury sustenance than kids who play football? This stems from the fact that most parents would not allow their children to play football without a helmet, protective padding accompanied by a mandatory mouthguard.

So, in reality, more American children put on a mouthguard for football than any other sport, consequently bringing about a reduction in the rate of injury sustenance.

Although kids involved in basketball and baseball sports are more prone to dental injuries than any other sporting activities, a mouthguard is only mandatory for four school-based sports – field hockey, lacrosse, football and ice hockey.

Bicycling, skateboarding, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling are the other sports for which the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends wearing mouthguards, which brings us to the next question.

How Effective is a Mouthguard?

According to ADA’s estimation, athletes who don’t put on mouthguards are 60 times prone to dental injuries as compared to those who do.

Although another question that comes to mind is: What is the best mouthguard for my kid? The best mouthguard for your kid remains the one he or she wears, both at practice and on game day.

What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?

The different types of mouthguard include: an “off-the-shelf” mouthguard, the “boil and bite” mouthguard and the “custom- made” mouthguard.

The “off-the-shelf” mouthguard being the least expensive of the three types, offers just a minimal level of protection, which is better than nothing. Wearing it can be uncomfortable as it clenches to the mouth resulting in difficulty in breathing and speaking.

The “boil and bite” mouthguard type, on the other hand, as the name implies, is first plunged into hot water and then inserted into the mouth. Then, the finger, tongue, and bite pressure is used to form it. It offers better protection in comparison to the “off-the-shelf” mouthguard although they fail to provide full coverage of the mouth and can also be uncomfortable.

The last type is the “custom-made” mouthguard, which is custom fabricated for your child using a piece of durable sports equipment as the name implies. The production process includes making molds of the child’s teeth and then tough, resilient, and high-quality materials are perfectly fitted to that mold. This type is the most comfortable and effective as compared to the others mentioned earlier; it is also affordable.

It is, therefore, advisable that parents invest more in the proven protection of a professionally made custom-fitted mouthguard. Particularly now that high-quality sports equipment for kids is costly.

Does your child need a custom mouth guard for the upcoming sports season? Visit us today for a mouthguard appointment.

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