Mouthguards offer great protection against tooth and gum injuries, and they can play a big role in keeping children safe while playing sports. At Kids Dental Center, Dr. Bosede Adeniji and our pediatric dentistry specialists offer custom-fitted mouthguards for kids of all ages.
To determine whether your child needs a mouthguard, you first need to know a bit more about what they do and how they help. Here’s some information to help you decide whether you need to ask about a mouthguard at your child’s next appointment.
What mouthguards do
Mouthguards place a cushioning layer between your teeth and the lips, and they also place a cushion between your top and bottom teeth. Sports mouthguards are generally made of firm materials that can withstand impact and biting down.
In our office, custom mouthguards are fitted for each child’s mouth, so they’re comfortable and easy to wear.
How mouthguards can help
Wearing a mouthguard during sports can help prevent tooth chipping or breakage and damage to the soft tissues (inner lips, cheeks, and gums) during impact. Impacts may involve a collision with another player, being hit by a flying ball, falling face-down on the ground or floor, or having other accidents.
A mouthguard gently separates the upper and lower jawbones. This helps prevent dislocations and jaw fractures during impact,
A recent study showed that a mouthguard significantly decreases the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injuries and problems like jaw pain, joint locking, and joint clicking.
Some evidence suggests that mouthguards may even help prevent sports-related concussions because they minimize the force moving up to the skull during a powerful impact.
Sports requiring mouthguards
While not all sports teams require their players to wear mouthguards, most sports could be safer with their use. Fortunately, as a parent, you have the power to increase your child’s safety, even if the team doesn’t require it.
Some of the sports in which mouthguards can be particularly beneficial for young players include:
- Martial arts
This is only a short list of sports, but in general, if a collision or impact of any type is possible, mouthguards can offer excellent protection.
Does your child need a mouthguard for sports?
Ultimately, the question of mouthguards for kids’ sports is a pretty open-and-shut case. The American Dental Association recommends professionally-fitted mouthguards for all children who play sports or who participate in active recreational activities.
Children who wear mouthguards can cut their risk of injury by up to half, so it’s an excellent way to protect your child’s dental and oral health while safeguarding their future. Plus, when your child wears a mouthguard, you have less to worry about when it comes to their safety, so it’s great for your peace of mind.
If your child is involved in sports or other active recreation, ask our pediatric dentistry specialists about a custom-fitted mouthguard at their next visit. Or, call our office or schedule an appointment through our online contact feature now.