Mouthguards – One Thing Every Athlete Should Wear
Mouthguards play an incredibly important part in protecting your child’s teeth, lips, and gums from damage. They’re a must if your child plays sports. Whether basketball, football, soccer, and even swimming, mouthguards can drastically reduce the probability of injuries occurring.
Without a mouthguard, common injuries include fractured teeth, missing teeth, and broken teeth. This not only affects a child’s self-esteem, it also impacts their quality of life, including how they eat and speak.
Additionally, treating broken teeth or missing teeth is expensive. A mouthguard could save you a lot of money by preventing these injuries. Any child that is going to be playing sports should wear a mouthguard, even those who still have their primary teeth.
What is a mouthguard?
Mouthguards are custom made plastic guards that fit into a child’s mouth. They’re different than the guards found at sporting goods stores because they are molded to fit your child’s oral anatomy. This means the teeth, arches, gums, and lips are all more protected from injury.
Even if your child is playing a sport that is considered non-contact, it’s important to protect them with a mouthguard. For example, let’s say your child is a gymnast. She is working on the balance beam but does not have a mouthguard in. If she falls and hits her chin, she could crack her teeth, puncture her lips, and cause serious damage.
A mouthguard will help reduce damage done and ensure she can get back to doing what she loves, instead of having to spend hours at the dentist getting patched up.
How do I get a mouthguard?
Getting fitted with a mouthguard is a two step process. First, you’ll want to come into the office for an exam. During this exam, the doctor will ensure your child’s teeth are in good shape. Once he or she is cleared for a mouthguard, the doctor will take an impression of your child’s mouth. This is what provides the custom fit.
These impressions are sent off to a lab, which will then create the mouthguard. After we receive the mouthguard you’ll come in for a fitting. If the guard doesn’t fit we will modify it chairside.
Caring for a Mouthguard
Your mouthguard is pretty easy to care for and will last for years if properly taken care of. By caring for your guard you will reduce bacterial build up and odors, and also keep the plastic from breaking down.
Never chew on your mouthguard. This can cause micro fractures that decrease its ability to protect your mouth.
Finally, after each use of your mouthguard brush it with toothpaste and let it air dry on a clean washcloth. Never let it sit in water and always make sure to visit the dentist regularly. He can ensure your mouth is being adequately protected. If he notices any issues he can help put together a treatment plan that will meet your needs and improve your oral health over time. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about the importance of mouthguards.