You can’t really place a value on the best things in life. If you are a parent, is there anything better than seeing your children smile?
For many children, sports are one of the biggest reasons to smile. And for parents, so is cheering on your kids from the sideline while they are playing hard and having fun.
But there is a risk to playing sports. We may not talk about it, but it’s always there. A fall, a collision, or a moment of inattention can lead to an injury that could turn into a dental emergency.
You don’t know when this could happen (hopefully, it never will), but you can be prepared for them. Just like you encourage your kids to put on their seat belts when you get in your car or truck, you also should encourage your kids to wear an athletic mouthguard.
We would be happy to make one for all the star athletes in your family at our dentist office in Spring, TX. At Texas Dental Group, mouthguards are part of our general dentistry.
Keep ‘Em Covered
April is National Facial Protection Month. That makes this as good a time as any to remind you of the importance of athletic mouthguards.
There’s a reason the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association all recommend wearing an athletic mouthguard for ANY high-impact sport.
We can’t list every high-impact sport, but you probably know a few already. Football, wrestling, and hockey may come to mind.
You may not realize the sports like baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics are high-impact sports, too.
To help understand why mouthguards are important, we would recommend the AAPD’s “Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries.”
In a 10-year study of cases at an oral and maxillofacial surgery department, nearly 1 in 3 was for a sport-related dental injury.
And do you know which two sports caused the most dental injuries? It’s wasn’t football or boxing.
They were baseball (among 7- to 12-year-old children) and basketball (among 13- to 17-year-olds).
Will a mouthguard prevent every dental injury? No, but they do prevent an estimated 200,000 dental emergencies every year. They would probably prevent more if more than 16 percent of children wore mouthguards while playing and practicing sports. (That usage figure is from a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists.)
Kinds of Mouthguards
Let’s imagine you need to transport a priceless antique vase to a museum. You have three ways to do this:
☐ You can put the vase in a box.
☐ You can put the vase in a box with a padded lining.
☐ You can put the vase into a custom-designed foam padding made specifically for that vase and cut to the right size to fit in your box.
We think you would agree that the third option provides the best possible protection.
With that in mind, is anything more precious than your children’s smile, which means protection their teeth? Any mouthguard will provide some protection, but some are more beneficial than others.
Stock mouthguards come in standard shapes. That can’t really be molded to fit your child’s teeth.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards can be shaped to a degree. Unfortunately, their size can still make them uncomfortable to wear. Perhaps more importantly, some people find that it is more difficult to breathe and to speak while wearing this kind of mouthguard.
A custom-fitted mouthguard is created from a mold of your child’s mouth. This means it provides a better fit and better protection for each individual.
These mouthguards are also smaller, which makes them more comfortable and less likely to affect breathing and speaking.
Mouthguards Are Good For Adults, Too
You may not be a professional athlete, but you are still at risk of running into your teammate chasing a pop-up for your company softball team. You can still take an accidental elbow to the jaw while fighting for a rebound in a pickup game.
And like all of us, you can still get distracted and get hit in them mouth if you take your eye off the ball at just the wrong moment.
Keep Smiling And Stay In The Game
A properly fitted mouthguard reduces the risk of a day at the park turning into a dental emergency.
Let our team at Texas Dental Group keep you and your family in the game. Call 832-791-1706 or contact us online to make an appointment to get your athletic mouthguards soon.