Many kids love to play sports, but as a parent you might worry about the possibility of dental injuries. A mouthguard can protect your child from accidents that could knock out, chip, or crack their teeth. Here are five reasons why mouthguards are essential for all contact sports.
1. Sports Cause Oral Injuries in Kids
A study published in 2014 revealed that approximately 13 percent of all childhood oral trauma is caused by sports. If your child is hit in the mouth with a ball or bat or by another child's elbow or shoulder, they could suffer serious injuries to their mouth and teeth. By cushioning blows that could strike a child's face, mouthguards reduce the dangers kids face when playing sports.
2. Mouthguards Shouldn't Hurt
A mouthguard shouldn't be uncomfortable to wear. However, a mouthguard that fits badly can press against the gums, leading to pain after prolonged wear. You can ensure your child stays comfortable by investing in a sports mouthguard that is molded to the shape of their mouth.
3. You Can Get a Perfect Fit
One custom sports mouthguard option is known as a boil-and-bite, which you can buy from a pharmacy. When you place this kind of mouthguard in hot water, the material becomes soft. Your child can then bite the mouthguard to mold it to fit their teeth. Another option is a custom sports mouthguard created by your child's dentist. These are a good option for kids that have irregularly spaced teeth or braces.
4. Some Sports Require Mouthguards
Some sports require mouthguards when kids compete in particular leagues. If your son or daughter has dreams of playing a particular sport competitively, he or she will need to start wearing a sports mouthguard sooner or later. It's best to introduce a mouthguard as early as possible so your child can practice wearing it during training, which means it won't be a distraction during competitive matches or games.
5. Mouthguards Are Even More Important for Kids Who Wear Braces
Kids who wear braces can be particularly vulnerable to sports injuries. If a blow from a ball, bat, or puck dislodges traditional metal braces, they can rub or scratch against the child's cheeks, tongue, or gums. This can cause a lot of pain while the child waits to see a dentist or orthodontist who can repair the braces. Repairs to braces can also be expensive, so it's best to avoid needing them if possible.