SPORTS MOUTH GUARDS
If your child plays a sport, you know how important safety gear is. Moreover, you make sure that your child never attends practice without the appropriate padding. However, did you know that mouth guard are just as important as the padding your child wears on the outside? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, between 10% and almost 40% of all dental injuries sustained by children are sports-related. At National Dental Upper East Side, your child’s oral health is our number one priority. Wearing a sports mouth guard is essential to protecting their teeth.
WHAT IS A MOUTH GUARD?
A mouth guard is a protective device that prevents serious dental injuries to your child while they are participating in a sports activity. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a sports mouth guard should protect lips and inner oral tissues from damage and bruise, the teeth from damage and avulsion and the jaw from dislocating or fracturing.
TYPES OF MOUTH GUARDS
There are three different types of sports mouth guards:
- Stock: These types of mouth guards are the ones you can buy at just about any sporting goods store. They are the least expensive option and come pre-molded. Being pre-molded, they do not often fit very well. They can be bulky and can make it difficult to breathe while playing.
- Boil and bite: You can find a boil and bite mouth guard at sporting goods stores, and some drug stores as well. This mouth guard softens when you boil it in water, and molds around your child’s teeth as they bite into it, providing a semi-custom fit.
- Custom-Fit: At National Dental, we can provide your child with a custom-fit mouth guard. We do this by taking a mold of your child’s mouth, which is used to fabricate their own, customized protective gear. While custom-fit mouth guards cost more than the ones you can get at a store, the protection offered is unparalleled.
CARING FOR YOUR CHILD’;S MOUTH GUARD
For your child’s mouth guard to protect their teeth, your child must take proper care of it. It should be cleaned before and after each use. It can simply be rinsed with water, but it is better to brush with toothpaste between uses. Periodically, it should be cleaned with soap and water.
Your child should store their mouth guard in a container with air vents when not in use. It should never be left in hot water, or in the sun, for too long. When it starts to look worn or damaged, it should be replaced immediately.
BENEFITS OF A SPORTS MOUTH GUARD
There are several benefits associated with the use of a sports mouth guard. The biggest benefit of doing so is that your child is spared facing serious dental injuries in the event your child faces impact while playing. This includes injuries such as cracks, chips, and avulsion (when the tooth is completely knocked out).
A mouth guard acts as a shock absorber. As the mouth guard covers the top teeth, it helps to prevent dislocation and reduces the risk of concussion.
Finally, because a sports mouth guard prevents serious dental injuries, it prevents you from having to pay potentially several thousands of dollars for expensive dental repairs.
Wearing a sports mouth guard is a crucial component of protecting your child’s teeth from serious injury. For more information on sports mouth guards, or if your child has suffered a sports-related dental injury, contact National Dental Upper East Side today at (646) 736-2206!