Did you know that dental injuries are the most reported facial injuries in sports? According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year with mouth guards. At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Culp sees dental trauma in kids regularly, many from sports like baseball where leagues typically don’t require the use of a mouthguard.
All kids would benefit from wearing a mouthguard while practicing and competing in sports of all kinds! It is common for football, wrestling, lacrosse, ice hockey and wrestling athletes to wear mouth guards, but not as common for basketball and baseball players, where there is still a risk.
There are different kinds of mouth guard options. Children can use a boil-and-bite kind that you can find in most sporting goods stores, or Dr. Culp and his team can fabricate one specifically for your child. The custom-made mouth guards are considered the most protective option, and are also the most comfortable. Benefits of a custom-made mouth guard are that they do not impede speech or breathing, and they provide full coverage to the upper teeth.
Mouth guards should be well cared for, and should be replaced once it becomes worn out or no longer fits as it won’t offer proper protection at that time. By gently scrubbing the mouthguard after each use with toothpaste and a toothbrush and storing it in a protective case, kids should be able to keep a mouth guard until they outgrow it. Also, remind them not to chew on it or leave it in the garage during our hot months of the year, as this distorts the shape of the mouthguard.
If your child plays a sport, be sure to ask Dr. Culp and the team at Jungle Roots about your mouthguard options!