Do Your Kids Need a Mouth Guard for Sports?
Sports like football, basketball, soccer, and hockey are great ways for both kids and adults to stay physically active. However, because they are contact sports, there is always a risk of injuries. Wearing protective gear can help prevent knocked-out teeth and injuries to the face and mouth. April is National Facial Protection Month, and the doctors at Sunrise Dental want to remind everyone how important sports mouth guards are for kids.
Kids’ Mouth Guards for Sports
Millions of children and teens in the United States participate in sports on a regular basis. Unfortunately, sports can be quite dangerous. As many as 5 million teeth get knocked out during sports activities every year. In fact, 13% to 39% of all dental injuries are sport-related.
A properly-fitting sports mouth guard for kids can help prevent the most common dental injuries from sports, including:
- Broken teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Tooth dislocation
- Jaw dislocation
- Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth (cheeks, lips, tongue, and gums)
- Damage to braces
Most of these injuries qualify as dental emergencies. In addition to causing a lot of stress, pain, and discomfort, these types of injuries may have a permanent impact on your child’s dental health.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends mouth guards for the following sports:
- Combat Sports
- Hockey (ice and field)
- Martial Arts
- Water Polo
What type of mouth guard should my child use?
When it comes to mouth guards for sports, there are three main types to choose from: stock, boil-and-bite, and custom mouth guards. The kind that your child needs will depend on the type of sport they play and how often they participate.
Stock or “Ready Made” Mouth Guards
The least expensive type of teeth protection for sports, you can purchase stock mouth guards at any major sports retail store. They come in a variety of sizes, but because they are not fitted to the unique specifications of your child’s mouth, they usually offer the least amount of dental protection.
Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards
These types of sports mouth guards for kids feature a thermoplastic material that softens when placed in hot water. When soft, the child can manipulate the shape of the mouth guard to fit their own mouth by biting on it, or they can shape it using their fingers or tongue.
Custom-Fit Mouth Guards
Dental offices or laboratories can make custom mouth guards to the exact specifications of your child’s mouth. Custom mouth guards are the most expensive option, but they also offer the most protection when playing dangerous sports.
Sports Mouth Guards for Kids in Peoria, Arizona
Here at Sunrise Dental, we strongly encourage our youngest patients to play sports so they can stay active and healthy. At the same time, we also want them—and their parents and guardians—to understand that dental injuries from sports can be very serious.
The best way to protect your child’s teeth is to get them a custom-fit kids’ mouth guard that they can wear during every practice and every game. If you need assistance finding the right sports mouth guard for your child, or want to schedule an appointment for a custom fitting, call Sunrise Dental today at 623-526-1154.
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