As a parent, it is your responsibility and goal to keep your child safe. When you have children playing sports, whether they are on a team or playing with a few friends, the desire to keep your child safe is even stronger.
Athletes, young and old, should be using mouth guards when they hit the field, whether it is the football field or the front yard. Mouth guards reduce the risk of sports-related injuries in both children and adults.
You might struggle to find the perfect mouth guard, but the truth is that the best ones are those dental organizations recommend. Your dentist can help you find the ideal mouth guard for your child.
Does Your Child Need a Mouth Guard?
Yes, your child should always be wearing a mouth guard while participating in sports. In some cases, cities and states may mandate that all children wear mouth guards while playing sports, whereas other times the rule might come from a league.
Even if your child is playing outside with friends, you should encourage the use of a mouth guard. Accidents can happen at any time and anywhere.
What Kinds of Mouth Injuries Result from Not Wearing a Mouth Guard?
Every year, millions of dental injuries and hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits are related to playing sports. While most are not dangerous, many are preventable.
In their teenage years, children are more likely to experience dental injuries from sports than any other type of activity. Statistics also report a decrease in injuries to the top teeth, including fractures, intrusion, avulsion, and extrusion.
A dental fracture occurs when the tooth is hit and the patient experiences breakage of the dental enamel. Fractures can be large or small, but also incredibly painful.
Dental intrusion is the forcing of a tooth deeper into the bone. The result is a displaced tooth that feels sunken into the gums.
Dental extrusion is the partial displacement of a tooth in the opposite direction. It pushes a tooth out of its socket, though it is not totally extracted.
Dental avulsion is the removal of a tooth through force. The tooth may have been pushed out of the mouth as the result of a blow to the head.
In some cases, wearing a mouth guard may prevent the damage caused to the jaw by different types of concussions.
When Does Wearing a Mouth Guard Prevent Injuries?
Your child benefits from wearing a mouth guard by consistently wearing it during physical activity.
While contact sports are the most likely to result in dental injuries, they are not the only sports during which children should be wearing mouth guards. Not only should your child wear the device during boxing, baseball, or wrestling, but also during martial arts, snowboarding, and even figure skating.
How Can You Find a Mouth Guard for Your Child?
Mouth guards are available in several venues. For instance, you can buy a boil-and-bite mouth guard at your local drug store. While this option may be safer than nothing, it certainly is not your best option.
The best mouth guards allow you to customize them to your child's bite. During the dental visit, the dentist will take impressions of your child's teeth in one appointment and then have your child come back in to secure the fitting.
While customized mouth guards are more expensive than boil-and-bite mouth guards, they also provide more protection. They also allow for better speaking and breathing because of the better fit.
Mianecki & Carlino offers compassionate and friendly dental services. When you need a custom mouth guard for physical activity, we do our best to protect your teeth.