Does my young athlete need an Athletic Mouthguard ?
If you have a young athlete in the family, then the answer is YES. Children playing any form of contact sport need to protect their teeth, just as you would wear helmets while biking or football.
Mouthguard help cushion an impact, typically they protect the upper teeth since the top teeth take the brunt of the trauma during an impact. Contact sport like football, basketball or soccer have a high risk for collisions and impact to mouth but even non-contact sports like gymnastics or skating can cause falls and trauma to mouth. As a dentist we recommend a mouthguard for every sport.
Consider these stats
- According to an ADA study more than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year through sport injury, accident or play
- An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard! from an American Dental Association study
- It is estimated that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year! from an Academy of General Dentistry study
- Sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits each year! from U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Consider the costs
- the cost to repair a knocked out teeth and follow-up dental treatment can cost thousands of dollars which is many times the price of a mouthguard
- if the child wears orthodontic appliances like braces it will take additional costs to repair them
There are three types of mouth guards
- Custom made mouth guard – these are made by the dentist and fit the mouth. They offer the most protection since they are created individually for fit and comfort.
- Boil and bite : These mouth guards are pre-made, they are softened in water (boiled) and inserted to adapt to the shape of the mouth. The athlete must keep the upper and lower jaws together to hold the mouthguard in place, which is a conscious and uncomfortable situation.
- Stock: These mouth guard are pre-formed and do not adapt to the mouth. They do not fit well and can make breathing and talking difficult. When an athlete receives a blow during an athletic event, the mouth guard is forced rearward, and it contacts only a few of the teeth and only a portion of the soft tissue. We do not recommend wearing these mouth guards.
The best mouthguard remains one that is custom designed and made by a dental professional with the athlete’s individual needs taken into account. It allows the dentist to address the age of the athlete and the possibility of providing space for growing teeth and jaws, these can be accommodated with a custom-made guard. A properly fitted mouthguard is important if you have have braces. Those braces are delicate and you want to protect them from impact. A blow to the mouth can damage braces or other bridge work you have in the mouth.
Dr. Sarita Malhotra a Burlington dentist at Modern Smiles Dental Care treats both children and adults. She takes pride in promoting holistic dental care, dental self-care strategies and practices that get to the core of the problems in our mouths–preventing issues from taking root and gently restoring dental health. Dr. Sarita Malhotra has a patient-friendly philosophy, which focuses on aesthetics, affordability and a commitment to total oral health. By incorporating advanced technology with meticulous compassion, and pain-free dentistry Dr. Sarita Malhotra offers patients the smiles they dreamed about because she loves to see you smile. Please call our office at 781-505-1900 to schedule an appointment.