If your child is involved in sports, whether it is soccer, football, baseball or something else, you know the importance of good protective gear. However, the proper gear for protecting your child from an injury involves more than just the padding that worn on the outside. Measures must also be taken to protect your child’s teeth and jaw. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), between 10% and 40% of dental injuries sustained by children are sports-related. If your child plays sports, a high-quality mouthguard is essential. At National Dental Hicksville, we can help.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouth guard is an oral device that is used to protect your child’s mouth while playing sports. It serves many important functions:
- Protecting their teeth from serious tooth injuries, including protecting them from being knocked out.
- Protecting their oral tissues from lacerations or contusions.
- Protecting their jaw from dislocation or fracturing.
The Different Types of Mouthguards
There are three major types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards: A stock mouthguard is one that is pre-molded and can be found at just about any sporting goods store. They are exceptionally affordable but have many disadvantages. Because they are pre-molded, they will most likely not fit their mouth properly. In some cases, they can make it difficult for your child to breathe while playing.
- Boil and bite mouthguards: The mouthguards are also found at most sporting goods stores. They are a semi-custom fit mouthguard. You simply drop the mouthguard in boiling water for several seconds. After you let it cool for just a few seconds, your child bites down into it, allowing the material to form around their teeth.
- Custom-fit mouthguard: A custom-fit mouthguard is a more expensive option, but it is the safest option for their mouth. At National Dental, we can provide your child with a custom-fit mouthguard. We simply take an impression of their mouth to design and create a mouthguard that will fit perfectly to the specifications of their mouth.
For your child’s mouthguard to do its job effectively, the mouthguard needs to be properly cared for. It should be rinsed out before and after every use. Brushing the mouthguard with toothpaste is a better option. Occasionally, it can be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water.
When not in use, your child’s mouthguard should be stored in a protective case that has vent holes, so air can circulate, preventing the buildup of bacteria. Do not let your child leave their mouthguard exposed to heat or sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Moreover, at the first sign of damage, get the mouthguard replaced.
Benefits of a Mouthguard
Mouthguards have many benefits:
- Teeth are protected in the event of a collision, with the mouthguard absorbing the impact.
- It protects the jaw from dislocation.
- The risk of concussion is reduced.
- Along with protecting the mouth from serious damage, you are saving money by avoiding the need for expensive dental procedures.
A high-quality mouthguard is an essential piece of protective gear your child should not be without. Contact National Dental Hicksville at (516) 629-5086 to get your child’s mouthguard today.