Everyone knows that there are benefits to participating in sports, but when you consider the possibility of sustaining dental injuries, you’ll want to know how mouthguards protect teeth in the playground.
Children require regular physical activity if they want to stay healthy and moving well, and ensuring our children develop properly is important.
Sports are an important part of that development, and an hour a day of physical sports is all children need to remain fit and well.
However while sports are an excellent way for children to spend their time, their risk of injury on the playground is far higher when they participate in sports and recreation.
This is particularly important to note when it comes to looking after the aesthetics of their teeth.
The teeth play such a vital role as part of facial aesthetics as well as functional role. Once the adult teeth have grown the body will not replace the teeth. Being such a vital feature of the face the teeth must be protected
We get our children to wear helmets, elbow and knee pads and guards for their hands so that they can avoid grazes and breakages or even more severe injuries but protecting teeth is not thought about enough.
One way to protect their teeth, is with mouthguards – the very same ones that are used for indoor contact sports.
Both situations require you to ensure that their teeth remain intact, without being chipped or broken.
Mild bumps may lead to chips and breaks, however major falls lead to emergency dental care, which can cause tooth loss or nerve damage. From mild to severe damage a mouthguard is the best option to optimise teeth protection
Mouthguards not only protect your child’s teeth, but they protect your wallet too!
Mouthguards Prevent Injuries
Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors, help to cushion the teeth against a blow to the face.
Running too fast and falling on their faces, getting hit in the face with a football or a hockey puck; all of these things can happen easily, and mouthguards work to cover the upper teeth and protect the mouth’s soft tissue.
Top teeth always take the brunt when there is a collision because they protrude more than the lower jaw.
Imagine your child playing their favourite sport, or enjoying time in the park and knocking lose or completely losing two of their front teeth.
Everything would be affected if there was an injury and the teeth were broken, lost or damaged in some way.
Their smile, confidence, eating and talking may all change from these types of injuries.
Mouthguards play a huge role in ensuring that teeth are protected in the playground or during sporting activities.
When Should Your Child Wear a Mouthguard?
Children should be set up with standard sports equipment from an early age, and of course some sports are more likely to create dental injuries than others.
See the following list of sports where participants should definitely wear a mouthguard do to the increase risk of dental injuries…
- Equestrian Events
- Extreme Sports
- Field Events
- Field Hockey
- Ice Hockey
- Inline Skating
- Martial Arts
- Sky Diving
- Water Polo
- Weight Lifting
In football, they wear full body gear, from shoulder pads to shin guards.
Mouthguards can make a difference to any injuries sustained during sports, as they can make the difference between having teeth knocked out and teeth staying intact.
“Mouthguards not only protect your child’s teeth, but they protect your wallet too!”
During collision and contact sports, mouthguards should always be worn to reduce the risk dental injuries.
However, even non-contact sports should have some protection.
Different types of mouthguards
There are mainly three types of mouthguards that you can select to wear while participating in sports activities, however we highly recommend custom mouthguards and they thoroughly protect the mouth.
Stock mouthguard cannot be adjusted to conform to the teeth.
Therefore, they, if too big, may either slip off the mouth or pinch the gum that causes discomfort. Both situations could be rather distracting for the player and may not protect the teeth when it is really needed.
In short, there are chances that stock mouthguard may find its way into the sports bag on the bench instead of being used when needed.
Boil and Bite mouthguard
Boil and Bite mouthguards, which are considered relatively inexpensive, are available in sporting goods stores. These mouthguards do not support a complete fit, they also can become easily loose or not fit correctly in the mouth causing irritation.
To fit these mouthguards, all you need is hot water to adjust the plastic conform to mouth shape.
The type of mouthguard you choose determines the level of protection you receive during an accident related to contact sports.
Remember that it is difficult to form a regular mouthguard correctly around the teeth, gum and braces so always opt for custom made for the best protection.
You can obtain custom-fit mouthguards through your orthodontist. In the first appointment, the orthodontic team will takes an impression of the upper teeth and lower teeth. The reason why they take lower impressions is to check your bite accurately to customise the mouthguard specifically to your individual anatomy.
The dental laboratory then fabricates the mouthguard.
Slight adjustments are possible in custom mouthguards as per the requirement of the player to satisfy their preference.
A correct fitting mouthguards should include all the teeth from molar to molar to get optimum protection.
No matter which type of mouthguard you select, one thing is clear that the quality of protection totally depends upon the quality of the product you are putting in your mouth.
If you participate in sports, especially contact sports, no matter what is your age level, remember to wear your mouthguard.
Even those who are engaged in non-contact sports can also consider it.
Ask Your Orthodontist About Mouthguards
If you or your child is involved in sports or time leisure time on the playground, speak to your orthodontist about a custom mouthguard which could prevent future dental injuries.
Your orthodontist will also be able to create a mouthguard which you can wear comfortably when you have braces too!
Invest in your smile, look after your smile, choose a custom mouthguard!
The barrier that is created between the upper and lower teeth with mouthguards means that teeth are protected and able to stay intact.
Without these types of mouthguards, sports become far riskier and you could be gambling with potentially thousands of dollars in dental surgery or implants – especially if your child has an injury that results in permanent tooth loss.
Mouthguards are definitely an important short term investment in your children’s teeth and dental health.
It is a small outlay so invest in a mouthguard. You will be thankful later.