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5 Benefits of Mouth Guards For Young Athletes

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18th Mar 2024

 It's such a great feeling to see your child succeed. You're on the tip of your seat every game, yelling for your kids to hit a home run or score a touchdown. You know their instructors encourage them to play safely, but are there any additional ways to keep them safe?

Did you know that mouthguards can assist with more than overnight teeth grinding? They can help protect the mouths of athletes in contact sports like football, soccer, and wrestling. But even in non-contact sports, a mouth guard may be required! Though spring sports like softball and baseball are considered non-contact, a single substantial hit with a bat or ball can cause long-term damage to your child's smile.

Dental mouthguards are available for purchase on the market or custom-built by your dentist. Both work well, but a store-bought mouthguard rarely fits well, making it less likely that your youngster will want to use it. Over-the-counter mouthguards are also typically constructed of thinner plastic than those created in a dental facility.

1. Preventing Dental Injury by Protecting Against Impact

This spring, ensure your youngster wears a mouth guard throughout practice and games to preserve their smile. Mouth guards are designed to protect their teeth and other oral structures during physical activities. If they are hit extremely hard, they are significantly less likely to sustain lasting damage or require extensive dental work in the future.

Prevention is always the best approach when caring for your child's teeth. For example, losing a tooth can result in more than simply a gap in their smile. When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth will naturally shift over time to fill the space, causing significant complications with their bite. Yes, this also applies to infant teeth that emerge prematurely!

2. Reducing the Risk of Concussion

Some believe that mouthguards reduce the risk of concussions by absorbing impact. More research is needed to prove this notion, but it always helps to be cautious. At the absolute least, wearing a mouth guard in case of a facial hit protects more than just the teeth. Providing a much-needed cushion to absorb impact protects the jaw and soft tissues from harm.

Mouth guards offer various benefits to prevent chipped, cracked, and lost teeth in your child's mouth. Whether your child collides with another during spring football practice or a stray ball finds them during a baseball game, wearing a mouth guard minimizes both the danger of losing a tooth and the possibility of breaks and chips. It also shields your child's tongue, lips, and cheeks from dangerous bites. This single preventive action can significantly reduce the need for costly dental restorations in the future.

3. Being Prepared for Dental Emergencies

Accidents do happen, no matter how hard you try to keep your child safe. This is especially true if your children are extremely active in sports. For this reason, it is critical to have an emergency plan in place, just in case!

Though a mouth guard might help safeguard your child's grin, it is always possible that they will forget to wear it. Ask your child's dentist how to reach them in a dental emergency.

4. Focusing on Comfort and Confidence

When selecting the best mouthguard for your child, remember that you want it to be as comfortable as possible. If it doesn't annoy them, they're more likely to concentrate on the objective - winning the game! They're also more likely to wear it.

Protecting their teeth might also give them the psychological lift of knowing they are as safe as possible. They will be free and confident to play their best game.

5. Knowing They Are Protected

Providing your child with a well-fitting mouth guard does more than protect their mouth. It can also boost their confidence while playing, lower the chance of soft tissue injury, and preserve their grins from heavy punches.

When preparing your child for their first practice this spring, take a moment to ensure their teeth are adequately protected.