If you have a child in sports, you know how rewarding it can be to watch your child physically work hard at something and succeed during a game or match. Unfortunately, with physical play comes the risk for injuries. As you are buying helmets or knee pads for your youth sports player this season, don’t forget about protecting their smile. An athletic mouthguard can be one of the most valued services we can offer in pediatric dentistry at Grateful Dental.
What Can Happen?
Mouth injuries are common in youth sports, particularly in contact sports such as football, basketball, hockey, and lacrosse. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken teeth, jaw fractures, and even concussion. A mouthguard can be a simple and easy way to prevent such devastating injuries to your child’s smile.
Alarming Statistics About Dental Injuries in Youth Sport
Did you know that sports related injuries account for three times more facial and dental injuries than violence or traffic accident? According to the American Dental Association, up to 39% of all dental injuries in children and adolescents are related to sports. Additionally, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation reports that athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to experience dental injuries compared to those who do wear mouthguards.
Reasons to Get a Mouthguard From Your Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends wearing a properly fitted mouthguard during sports to help prevent injury to the teeth, jaw and oral soft tissues (mouth, lip, tongue, or inner lining of the cheeks). There are even studies that suggest that mouthguards help prevent concussions in youth sports.
When it comes to a sports mouthguard for your kid, however, there are two basic options. A “boil-and-bite” mouthguard that you can buy from your local sporting goods store or a custom mouthguard that your dentist makes according to your child’s unique smile and bite.
At Grateful Dental, we recognize that a custom athletic mouthguard is superior in the following categories:
- Stays in place better (avoid your child playing with it or taking it in and out)
- More comfortable (not irritating or bulky)
- Allows ability to breathe, speak and even drink during play (a major advantage over store-bought options)
- More durable and longer-lasting (your child may be able to wear the same mouthguard for multiple seasons)
Your Child’s Smile is Worth the Price of Protection
While custom mouthguards from a pediatric dentist may have a higher upfront price tag, it is important to consider the significant savings you’ll gain in potential treatment for dental injuries. Without a mouth guard, your young athlete is subject to severe and even permanent injuries to their mouth that could impact their smile appearance as well as their dental health. If your child is undergoing orthodontic treatment, it becomes even more important to get a custom mouth guard that will fit comfortably over their braces to protect your orthodontic investment as well as the surrounding soft tissues of the mouth that can easily be lacerated by metal wires and brackets during a traumatic fall or sudden blunt force to the face.
If you are ready to protect your child’s smile during sports, call Grateful Dental in Marietta. Getting a custom mouthguard is quick and easy. Simply schedule a pediatric dental visit your child and we will take an impression of their bite and gather measurements of their mouth. We will send the model off to a trusted dental lab for custom fabrication and call you when it is ready to be picked up.
Grateful Dental can help protect your child’s growing smile while they compete in youth sports. Our Marietta office offers a full menu of preventative and restorative services for pediatric patients.