Don’t settle for the one-size-fits-all approach to mouthguards. Your future dental budget will thank you!
In almost every sport, children are required to wear protective gear of some type. However, most often, these requirements do not list a mouthguard as a necessary part of sports protection. But when you consider the fact that sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits each year, it might seem that the lack of mouthguard requirements is an unfortunate oversight!
So what can you do to protect your child’s teeth?
Based on research evidence, Dr. Ray Padilla, former President of the Academy of Sports Dentistry, holds that the best means of protection against sports-related dental injuries are custom athletic mouthguards. And while it may be tempting to simply walk into a big-box sports store and pick up a cheap athletic mouthguard for children, consider these facts first:
Benefits of Custom Athletic Mouthguards
Addresses Individual Needs
When developing a custom athletic mouthguard, your dentist will spend time assessing the unique needs of your child before ever creating the guard. He or she will take time to determine if there are any pre-existing conditions to be considered, find out what sport is being played, and go over care and upkeep of the mouthguard with your child directly.
Allows for Growth and Changes
As part of the assessment process, a dentist will determine the shape and size of the mouthguard needed according to the age of the child athlete. The age and development of the child’s mouth will determine if any space is needed for erupting (growing) teeth and jaws. Custom athletic mouthguards are able to accommodate the growing needs of children, unlike pre-formed stiffer models with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Provides Comfort and Safety
Because custom-fitted athletic mouthguards are made from exact models of a child’s teeth, they provide a more comfortable fit. They are made of resilient and tear-resistant material in order to provide the most protection during sports participation as well as protection from careless “off-the-court” moments.
Promotes Good Usability
If a mouthguard is bulky, uncomfortable or restrictive, chances are it will be left in the locker room with the keys and wallet. Dental professionals know how to create a custom athletic mouthguard that is both protective and well-used, meaning it doesn’t restrict breathing, is easy to clean and has no bad taste or odor.
If your child has entered the world of competitive sports and you have only recently been alerted to the need for a protective athletic mouthguard, consider all the facts before rushing out to buy a cheap, bulky plastic form that claims to protect the teeth and jaw. An improper fit can, in some cases, even cause more problems during a forceful impact. At the very least, it may not get worn because of discomfort or restrictions that it may impose on your budding athlete.
Dr. Mona Beylin at Kangaroo Smiles designs custom athletic mouthguards for children of all ages and sizes. For more information on attaining a dentist fitted mouthguard, contact us today at (978) 425-1496. We look forward to working with you and your child!