At Newtown Dentistry for Kids, your child’s smile is our top priority. As parents, we share your concerns about your child’s safety, especially when they’re engaged in physical activities like sports. One piece of protective gear on which we’re particularly focused is the all-important sports mouth guard. Not just for football and hockey players, mouth guards add protection for most sports and play activities. If your child is one of the estimated 20 million to 25 million youths who participate in competitive sports, you should be aware of the importance of sports mouth guards.
Stats on Mouth Guards and Child Safety
According to research from the National Institutes of Health, about 11,000 children visit emergency rooms every year for facial and dental injuries from playing sports. The good news is that wearing a mouth guard can significantly reduce the risk of dental trauma. Recent American Dental Association statistics reveal that kids who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to experience dental injuries compared to those who do wear them. Small and lightweight, mouth guards easily fit in your child’s athletic bag or backpack. A little protection goes a long way.
Protect against broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth caused by a collision or fall
Provide a cushioning effect that helps absorb and distribute the impact of any hits to the face, reducing the risk of jaw fractures and even concussions
Act as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing injuries to the lips, cheeks, and tongue, which often occur if your kid runs into another player
Youth Mouth Guards: Safety for Soccer, Basketball, and Skateboarding Too!
Most of us typically associate mouth guards with contact sports like football, rugby, and hockey. In reality, there are a number of other activities that carry a significant risk of dental injuries for your kids. A lot of coaches and leagues don’t require or specifically recommend mouth guards for their players, but we suggest that your kid wears one if they areinvolved in some of these other activities:
Soccer: Collisions during soccer games can result in unexpected impacts that could harm your child’s teeth.
Basketball: In a fast-paced game like basketball, collisions and falls are common, making mouth guards essential.
Baseball/Softball: A stray ball or a collision with another player can quickly lead to dental injuries.
Skateboarding and Rollerblading: Even seemingly mild activities can result in falls with the potential for injuries to a child’s teeth.
Gymnastics: Accidents on the mat or uneven bars can cause dental injuries that are easily preventable with a mouth guard.
Types of Injuries Mouth Guards Protect Against
Mouth guards provide protection against a range of potential injuries, including:
Tooth Fractures: A strong impact can cause teeth to chip or break.
Tooth Displacement: A forceful hit can push teeth out of their proper position.
Tooth Loss: A severe blow can knock out a tooth completely.
Lip, Cheek, and Tongue Injuries: Mouth guards act as a barrier, reducing the risk of cuts and bruises to soft tissues in the mouth.
Jaw Fractures: The cushioning effect of a mouth guard helps minimize the risk of jaw fractures.
Three Different Types of Sports Mouth Guards
There are three main types of mouth guards:
Stock Mouth Guards: These pre-made, ready-to-wear mouth guards are available at most sports stores and some pharmacies. They are inexpensive but may not fit well, affecting both comfort and protection.
Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards: These are softened in hot water, then bitten into by your child to shape them to their mouth. While they offer a better fit than stock mouth guards, they still might not provide the optimal protection and comfort.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards: Professionally crafted by your dentist using impressions of your child’s teeth, custom-made mouth guards offer the best fit, comfort, and protection, ensuring your child is more likely to wear them consistently.
While all three offer some level of protection, custom-made mouth guards are often the most effective choice. At Newtown, we’ve been making custom-made mouth guards for our patients for years. We use the latest technologies to ensure that the mouth guard fits securely. We even make custom guards for kids with braces.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards: Value Over Cost
Custom-made mouth guards do cost a little more than over-the-counter ones, but the small investment can lead to significant savings in dental bills and, more importantly, protect your child from unnecessary pain and discomfort. At Newtown Dentistry for Kids, we’re dedicated to providing your child with the best possible care. We offer several payment options and an in-house savings plan to ensure your child has access to treatment that meets their specific dental needs.
Make an appointment today to learn more about our custom-made sports mouth guards and how we can help keep your child’s smile safe on and off the field.