If your child is active in sports, then you know that losing isn't the worst thing that can happen to a young athlete- sustaining a serious injury is. That’s why anyone who participates in recreational activities carries a significant risk of injury and should always wear appropriate protective gear—and that includes wearing a mouthguard.
Every year, thousands of kids sustain some type of oral injury, such as a knocked out tooth or damaged jaw while participating in recreational sports or competitions. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard! That means that the majority of dental injuries caused by sports can easily be prevented with proper protection.
Mouthguards are made of soft plastic and fit over the teeth. They are designed to prevent damage where sports injuries are most prevalent and can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing impact that otherwise could cause broken teeth, jaw injuries or cuts to the soft tissues in the mouth. For kids with braces, a mouthguard helps shield the cheeks, gums and lips from getting cut by wires and brackets.
But smiles aren’t the only things a protective mouthpiece can save. Mouthguards also play a pivotal role in reducing the rate and severity of concussions, as a large percentage are caused by impact to the jaws rather than a blow to the skull.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
To receive optimal protection, your child’s mouthguard should be customized for their specific sport. It should be durable, comfortable and fit securely on the athlete’s teeth during practice and competition.
There are three different types of mouthguards to choose from:
1. Preformed, store bought mouthguards are ready-to-wear
2. “Boil-and-bite, ”store bought mouthguards are molded to the teeth
3. Custom-made and fitted mouthguards are designed by your Austin dentist to perfectly fit an individual’s smile.
At David A. Slaughter, DDS, we can custom-fit mouthguards for patients of every age to prevent injuries to the teeth, lips, tongue, face or jaw. Our custom-fit mouthguards are durable and specifically designed for each patient's unique smile. A custom-made mouthguard is designed to cover all the teeth and is the best type of mouthpiece available. And since comfort is key, we make sure the mouthguard stays in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy to talk and breathe while offering the best fit, protection and comfort for their smile.
Remember, mouthguards aren’t only for kids and professional athletes—they’re for everyone, young or old and every skill level alike. It’s a small investment, but it offers peace of mind and can save your smile. Make an appointment for you or your young athlete today.