Sports are a great way to get your child outside and active. No matter if they’re playing on an organized team or just playing in the backyard with other neighborhood kids, wearing the proper safety equipment is essential. Helmets and pads help to protect your child from serious injuries. Included in your child’s safety gear should be a mouthguard. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can help to protect your child’s mouth with a custom fit mouthguard.
WHAT IS A MOUTHGUARD?
Approximately 10% to 40% of all oral injuries sustained by children are related to sports injuries. A mouthguard is an oral device that is worn while participating in a sporting activity and is designed to protect your child’s teeth and mouth in the event of an accident. It covers your child’s teeth and provides a cushion against impact. It has several different functions:
- It protects their teeth from serious injury, including being completely knocked out.
- It protects the soft tissues in their mouth from injuries such as lacerations.
- It protects their jaw from suffering a fracture or dislocation.
TYPES OF MOUTHGUARDS
There are a few different types of mouthguards available:
- Stock mouthguards. A stock mouthguard can be found at your local sporting goods store. It is the most affordable option. However, it comes pre-molded. Pre-molded mouthguards may not properly fit your child’s mouth, which can interfere with their breathing while they play, and can even increase their risk of facing an injury.
- Boil and bite mouthguards. A boil and bite mouthguard is another option that can be found at your local sporting goods store. It tends to cost a little more than stock mouthguards, and it comes unmolded. Instead, these mouthguards are meant to be dropped into boiling water for just a few minutes. You then let it cool for a few seconds and your child bites into it, creating a semi-custom fit.
- Custom fit mouthguards. A custom fit mouthguard is a professionally created mouthguard. We offer these mouthguards at National Dental. While these mouthguards cost the most of any option, they are designed from 3-dimensional impressions of their mouth, thus providing a perfect fit. These mouthguards provide superior protection over any other option available.
For your child’s mouthguard to protect their mouth, it needs to be properly maintained. It should be brushed with toothpaste before and after each use. Rinsing is acceptable. It should be periodically cleaned with soap and water. When not in use, it should be stored in a hard case with ventilation holes. This will promote airflow and prevent the buildup of bacteria. Make sure that your child knows not to leave their mouthguard exposed to heat or sunlight for prolonged periods of time. At the first sign of wear or damage, replace the mouthguard right away.
BENEFITS OF A MOUTHGUARD
Mouthguards have several benefits:
- They provide shock absorption if your child collides with another player.
- Their jaw is protected from fractures and dislocation.
- The risk of experiencing a concussion is reduced.
- You save money. By taking measures to prevent sports related injuries, you prevent the need for expensive dental treatments.
A mouthguard can protect your child’s teeth, jaw, and oral tissues from serious injury in the event of a sports related injury. To get your child’s custom fit mouthguard, call National Dental Sunnyside today at (718) 925-3365.