Kids who take part in contact sports run the risk of damaging their teeth. Although these sports are great for encouraging kids to lead healthy, active lives, they can be dangerous if your children don't have the right protective equipment. As well as helmets and knee pads, kids who take part in sports also need mouthguards to prevent their teeth being chipped, cracked or even knocked out.
1. Mouthguards Prevent Dental Injuries
According to a 2014 study, sports are responsible for roughly 13 percent of oral injuries. By wearing a mouthguard, your child can avoid serious damage to their teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and jaw. Mouthguards cushion this entire area, reducing the impact of blows from balls, hockey pucks, or players on the pitch. This reduces the chance of the blow knocking out a tooth or causing the child to bite into their own tongue or cheeks.
2. Mouthguards Are Essential for Protecting Braces
Mouthguards are particularly important for children who wear braces. Even relatively light blows to the face can damage the brackets that fix the braces to the teeth, leading to a costly repair. While your child is waiting for the repair, the damaged brackets can jab into the child's gums or cheeks, causing pain.
3. Mouthguards Aren't Necessarily Uncomfortable
If your children are holding back on wearing mouthguards because they think they'll be uncomfortable, there are some things you can do to convince them to give the devices a try. First, look beyond the standard off-the-shelf mouthguards, which are often poorly fitting and uncomfortable. A better choice is a boil-and-bite mouthguard, which gets soft when you place it in hot water, so your child can bite down on it and mold the shape to fit their mouth.
4. Custom Mouthguards Are An Option
For some kids, particularly those with braces or irregular teeth, custom mouthguards are the best option. An expert in pediatric dentistry can create one of these devices to exactly fit your child's needs. If your child can't find a comfortable mouthguard among the options on sale, see your dentist for advice.
5. Some Sports Make Mouthguards Mandatory
Mouthguards are required for kids that play some competitive sports. If your child hopes to play any of these sports in the future, it's a good idea for him to get used to wearing mouth protection as soon as possible. If your kid plays on a team that doesn't make mouthguards mandatory, ask your children's dentist whether your child should wear one.
For more information, contact an expert in paediatric dentistry.
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