Sports are a great way to get your child active and involved. When they get ready for practice, you always make sure that they never leave home without their proper safety gear. Included in this safety gear, your child should have a properly fitting mouthguard. Between 10% and 40% of all dental injuries in children are caused by a sports-related incident. Wearing a sports mouthguard is essential for protecting your child’s mouth. At National Dental East Meadow, we can provide your child with a custom fit mouthguard, helping to keep your child’s mouth safe.
PROTECTING YOUR CHILD’S WHOLE MOUTH
Sports injuries are common in children. Injuries to the mouth can have serious consequences. A mouthguard is designed to protect your child’s mouth from these injuries while they play. A good mouthguard protects the soft tissues of your child’s mouth (both lips and tissues inside the mouth) from cuts and bruises and their teeth from damage (chips or cracks) and avulsion. It should also help to protect your child’s jaw, preventing dislocation and fracturing.
TYPES OF MOUTHGUARDS
There are a few different types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards. These types of mouthguards can easily be found at most of your local sporting goods stores. They are the most inexpensive of all of the mouthguards, but they are pre-molded. Pre-molded mouthguards do not fit most mouths very well. As a result, they can often lead to breathing issues while your child plays.
- Boil and bite mouthguards. These mouthguards are also widely available at most sporting goods stores. You simply boil water, drop the mouthguard in for a few seconds and pull it out, giving it a few seconds to cool slightly before your child bites into it. This provides a semi-custom fit.
- Custom-fit mouthguards. While the most expensive option for mouthguards, a custom-fit mouthguard is the best option for your child. At National Dental, we can provide these mouthguards for your child. We take molds of their mouths, which then allow us to fabricate the guard. These mouthguards offer superior protection, making them worth the extra cost.
HOW TO CARE FOR A MOUTHGUARD
To ensure that your child’s mouthguard keeps their mouth safe, it must be properly cared for. It should be rinsed with water both before and after each use. Better yet, it can be brushed with toothpaste. A periodic brushing with soap and water is also beneficial.
When not in use, the mouthguard should be stored in a container that allows for air flow. It should never be left exposed to heat or sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Check the mouthguard occasionally for damage, and replace it at the first sign.
There are several benefits for your child to use a mouthguard:
- Your child is spared experiencing serious dental injuries, including chips, cracks and the teeth being completely knocked out.
- The mouthguard absorbs shock.
- Mouthguards may prevent jaw dislocation.
- The risk for a concussion is reduced.
A properly fitting mouthguard is imperative to protecting the health of your child’s whole mouth. For more information on mouthguards, and to have one made for your child, contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292.