School is about to start again, along with all the activities associated with it – and for many children, this means sports. Of course, it’s all too easy for accidents to occur on the field or court, and it’s important to make sure that any budding athletes in your family are protected from potential dental injuries. As such, it’s often a good idea to make getting your child a mouthguard a top priority on your back-to-school list. Here’s what parents need to know.
Why are Mouthguards Important?
Any athlete – no matter how old they are or how skilled they are – can be at risk of getting hit in the face or mouth while participating in their chosen sport. These types of accidents often result in dental emergencies such as broken or knocked-out teeth. As such, you need to make sure that your child’s smile is well-protected against this type of damage.
A mouthguard can help absorb and spread out the force of any facial impact. This protects the teeth from the worst of the blow and keeps any damage to a minimum. Since mouthguards are such an effective way of avoiding dental injuries, it’s highly recommended that your child wears one no matter what kind of sport they participate in.
What Kind of Mouthguard Should Your Child Get?
There are different kinds of athletic mouthguards that you can get for your little one. Some mouthguards can be bought at the store, but since they aren’t personalized by a professional, they don’t always fit properly, meaning your child may find them uncomfortable.
Another option is to get a customized mouthguard from your child’s dentist. This type of mouthguard tends to come at a higher price, but the tradeoff is that it can be designed to fit perfectly over your child’s teeth, thus providing enhanced comfort as well as more effective protection.
How Should Your Child Take Care of Their Mouthguard?
Once your child has a mouthguard, you should make sure that they know how to take care of it. Here are some basic steps that all athletes should follow:
- Before wearing the mouthguard, rinse it off under some water to get rid of any lingering plaque.
- Make sure that it’s always stored in a protective case when not in use.
- Keep the mouthguard away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. (The mouthguard might warp if it gets too hot, causing it to lose its fit.)
A mouthguard is an essential piece of equipment for any athlete. Before your child signs up for any school sports team, you should make sure that they have a mouthguard that they can count on to keep their precious smile as safe as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Sheri McIntosh has a patient-focused approach to dentistry, and as such she’ll always take the time to get to know you and your loved ones better when you come to see her for an appointment at Distinguished Dental in Fort Worth. She can offer customized mouthguards for anyone in your family who plays sports. To schedule a consultation with Dr. McIntosh, visit her website or call (817) 337-8300.