The American Dental Association projects that 1/3 of all dental injuries are sports related, and that the use of a mouthguard can prevent over 200,000 oral injuries each year. Furthermore, a recent study on oral trauma in adolescent athletes revealed that 75% of injuries occurred when mouthguards were not worn. Keep reading to learn the importance of your child using a mouthguard during sports, and which one is best for them from an emergency dentist in Colorado Springs.
What is a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are soft plastic or laminate devices used in sports to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth. Mouthguards protect your teeth as well as absorb shock from force to prevent concussion, fractures, and much more. They come in various shapes, sizes, and brands, and they are mandatory for contact sports like football and hockey. That being said, 45% of mouth injuries occur in baseball or basketball—sports that don’t require mouthguards.
What Injuries Can Mouthguards Prevent?
See some dental injuries that occur when mouthguards aren’t worn:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Knocked out teeth
- Fractures crowns or dental work
- Root damage in the teeth
- Lip and cheek injuries
- Fractured jaws
These are injuries that can happen in children and adults. The best way of preventing these injuries from occurring in the first place is to wear a properly fitted mouthguard. If any of the above dental emergencies happen, contact your local dentist immediately to get help.
What Kind of Mouthguard Should My Child Use?
In general, there are two different mouthguards you can get for your child: straight off the shelf, or custom-made. Most over-the-counter mouthguards are fitted to teeth using the “boil and bite” method. This is where you boil the mouthguard until the material is pliable. Then, your child will bite down on it, and it will form to their teeth, creating protection for their mouth.
A custom-made mouthguard is always the better option for protection against trauma. Store bought mouthguards lose their shape and wear out relatively fast, whereas custom made mouthguards will fit snuggly to your child’s teeth because it’s made for their specific smile. They’re also much more durable, and they will not only protect your child’s teeth, but they also alleviate jaw tension and concussion if there’s trauma.
Using a mouthguard is better than none at all, but your dentist in Colorado Springs always recommends custom-made devices for the best fit and protection. Talk to your local dentist about protecting your kid’s teeth for their upcoming season!
Meet the Dentist
A graduate of Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in 1982, Dr. Ken Gasper has been providing quality dental services to his patients ever since. He treats dental emergencies, but he wants your child to avoid them in the first place by using a custom-made mouthguard. He currently practices at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (719) 599-0700 for any questions.