Dental trauma can be a very scary prospect for both a patient and a parent. Teeth are one of the most noticeable features on your face and a beautiful smile is something everyone likes to have. One of the simplest things you can do to protect your child’s teeth is making sure they wear a mouthguard during sports. The obvious contact sports like ice hockey and football usually mandate mouthguards but other sports can be hazardous too. Soccer, basketball, field hockey and baseball all carry a very high risk of injury to a child’s teeth. An errant elbow or foul ball could mean painful and costly consequences for the rest of your child’s life. Much like padding and helmets help keep them safe, a well-fitted mouthguard is an essential part of any athlete’s kit.
In addition to preventing trauma, studies have shown that a well-fitting mouthguard can help reduce incidence of concussion. All in all, wearing a mouthguard is a great, protective thing to keep your kids safe during their athletic seasons.
Here are some things to look out for when fitting a mouthguard:
A Snug fit
A well fitting mouthguard should be able to stay in the mouth without having to clench or ‘hold’ it in. This will let an athlete breath properly and be able to communicate with teammates and coaches
In order to be protective a mouthguard needs a minimum thickness over the teeth to absorb force. If your child’s mouthguard has holes in it where it’s been worn through it’s time for a replacement.
Ultimately a mouthguard is no use if it’s hanging from a helmet or being chewed on instead of being used over the teeth. Reinforce to your young athlete that the mouthguard should remain in place during play to protect his/her teeth from trauma.
A custom fit mouthguard is a great way to ensure your child’s dental safety. It is also more likely to be worn due to its superior fit. Children with braces also will need specialized guards that fit over brackets and wires. At Wilton Pediatric Dentistry we are committed not only to keep your child’s teeth cavity free but also whole and intact throughout their athletic careers. Contact us if you have any questions or are interested in a custom mouthguard for your child.
Dr. Ashleigh Sebro is a Board-Certified pediatric dentist as well as the owner and founder of Wilton Pediatric Dentistry. She is committed to providing gentle and compassionate dental care to children with the hopes of creating a generation who is not scared of the dentist. Dr. Sebro has been recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 dentists in America for her dedication to pediatric dental health and her focus on prevention.