Taking part in sports is a really fun part of growing up, from enjoying team camaraderie to learning new skills. As exciting as playing sports can be, it has plenty of potential risks to your child’s dental health.
A huge number of young people lose teeth every year through sport-related injuries. Whether your child plays basketball, netball, soccer, or tennis, all sports can cause preventable harm. It’s important to take all necessary precautions and ensure they have beautiful, healthy smiles for the rest of their lives!
Let’s dive into how to best prevent dental trauma in young people by finding reliable protective mouthguards for your children.
The risks of dental trauma in sports
Getting a knock to the face is never a great feeling, but some injuries are worse than others. Black eyes and bruises heal by themselves relatively quickly, but dental trauma needs urgent attention to prevent long-lasting damage to your teeth and gums.
Common dental injuries incurred from playing sports include cracked or chipped teeth, knocked-out teeth, fractured teeth or roots, or tooth intrusion. Sometimes injuries cannot be seen without professional examination and emergency care from a renowned children’s dental centre in Midland, such as a fractured tooth root where a painful tooth infection can set in.
How do mouthguards work?
The absolute best way to prevent painful dental trauma in children playing sports is with a quality mouthguard. A mouthguard is a tough oral appliance used to shield teeth from impact and designed to absorb physical force before it damages the mouth. It also helps to stop you from biting soft tissue or your tongue during an impact.
Also known as a gum shield or sports guard, protective mouthguards must be properly fitted to effectively protect the teeth and surrounding gums, as this in turn prevents areas such as the lips, jaw, and gingival tissue from becoming injured.
By sitting on the upper set of teeth (maxillary arch) the mouthguard separates the upper and lower (mandibular arch) sets of teeth and provides immense protection by absorbing and distributing shock that could otherwise impact the jaw, surrounding soft tissue, and more.
Using Mouthguards to prevent dental trauma in Children
There are plenty of studies showing the power of mouthguards in preventing dental injuries, but it doesn’t take a genius to see how valuable mouthguards are for children in protecting them from harm.
Whether or not your child’s sports team requires the use of mouthguards, you should consider it a vital piece of equipment for your kids whenever they take part in athletics. As well as simply being a smart way to save your child from unnecessary pain and suffering, the cost of repairing dental trauma from sports is far more expensive than buying a mouth protector.
In particular, children with orthodontics should wear a custom-fitted mouthguard during all sporting activities. A blow to the face can cause serious damage to both your child’s teeth and the orthodontic appliance, as well as the soft tissue, tongue, and gums surrounding the area.
Prevent dental trauma and more with a reliable mouthguard
One of the more important benefits of a quality mouthguard is its ability to absorb a large amount of force from an impact – potentially preventing minor concussions and other forms of injury to the head and brain. While contact sports like boxing and rugby come with a higher risk of injury, dental trauma can occur with a simple knock to the face during seemingly safe activities like gymnastics or hockey
From broken teeth to an injured jaw, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your children, regardless of whether they play collision sports or typically non-contact sports. Let’s get every parent and coach to consider mouthguards as an essential piece of safety equipment!
Custom-made mouthguards vs. over-the-counter options
There are three main options when choosing a mouthguard for children, but only custom gum shields truly deliver reliable care and protection.
The absolute best design for effective protection is custom-fitted mouthguards, made by your dentist to perfectly fit around teeth. By fitting smoothly against the unique shapes and layout of your teeth and mouth, custom-made mouthguards offer superior protection without impacting your speaking or breathing, unlike other designs. This perfect fit means impressive comfort while preventing harmful (and expensive!) dental trauma.
This affordable over-the-counter option is found at most sporting goods stores. While the price tag may be tempting, these preformed designs offer less protection and comfort. As children are less likely to keep their mouthguard in if it’s uncomfortable, stock mouthguards are not the most reliable option.
Boil and bite mouthguards
Another over-the-counter mouthguard is the boil and bit design. Offering a better fit than stock designs but less protection than custom-made alternatives, you heat the mouthguard in hot water before biting into them to create a mould around your teeth. The thick materials and difficulty controlling the final fit can make them more uncomfortable to wear.
Correct maintenance for mouthguards
Similar to oral retainers or nighttime mouthguards, sporting mouthguards for children need regular upkeep to prevent damage. As well as rinsing it well before and after use, clean the mouthguard with warm soapy water regularly.
It’s essential to keep it clean and dry between uses. Otherwise, bacteria can quickly grow. Make sure to store it in a cool space, as hot temperatures can cause the shape of the mouthguard to distort.
Children grow quickly, so keep an eye out for signs they need a replacement mouthguard due to outgrowing it, or general wear and tear.
Emergency dentist appointments and other helpful services
Accidental injuries require urgent dental care, so it’s important to know a reputable children’s dental centre in Midland should someone need immediate help. Midland Dental Hub always keeps room for emergency appointments, from knocked-out teeth to painful tooth intrusions.
Additional services include:
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
- Tooth extractions
- Teeth whitening
Choose a caring children’s dental centre with Midland Dental Hub
Meet with friendly and helpful dentists and dental technicians at Midland Dental Hub, for expert care and a range of general and cosmetic dentistry needs, with special help given for dental trauma in children.