Another school year is right around the corner. If your child is an athlete, she needs a mouth guard to protect against injuries while playing contact sports.
The American Dental Association advises that athletes of all ages wear mouth guards, from elementary school all the way up to the professional level. If this doesn’t convince you that your young athlete should wear tooth protection, consider the following reasons to make getting a custom mouth guard a back-to-school tradition.
Mouth Guards Protect the Teeth
The most obvious reason to wear a mouth guard is to protect your teeth while playing contact sports. Here are the types of tooth injuries mouth guards prevent:
- Tooth fractures: A cracked or fractured tooth is a serious problem. Fortunately, it’s usually possible to save the tooth with a root canal and filling. Of course, it’s best to prevent a tooth fracture in the first place with a mouth guard.
- Tooth displacement: If you get hit in the mouth while playing sports, it’s possible for a tooth to become displaced, which is when it becomes loose and wiggles around easily. If the same impact occurs while wearing a mouth guard, this oral appliance cushions the blow and may prevent tooth displacement.
- Knocked out tooth: It’s possible to lose a tooth if you get hit in the mouth. A fast response may allow Dr. Evanson to save the tooth. Other times, an implant or bridge may be necessary to replace the gap in your smile. All this stress and trauma can be prevented with a mouth guard.
Mouth Guards Protect Soft Tissues
Your teeth are sharp little daggers designed to bite and chew through food. Unfortunately, a quick jolt to the chin could cause you to bite your lip, tongue, or cheek. These soft tissue injuries are quite painful and often require stitches. Wearing a mouth guard could provide the protection you need to avoid a trip to the emergency room.
Mouth Guards Protect the Jaw
A blow to the head can make your teeth smash together. Not only does this threaten the teeth themselves, but it puts your jaw at risk of fracturing. If this happens, surgery (and a steady diet of gelatin and soup during recovery) may be required. But if you wear a mouth guard, this added layer of flexible plastic between your teeth acts like a cushion for your jaw to prevent injury.
Mouth Guards Might Protect Against Concussions
Although no controlled study has been performed to confirm the claim, it’s rational to conclude that mouth guards protect against concussions. After all, the extra padding between your upper and lower jaws could be enough to lessen the force of an impact that pushes the jaw up on the skull, preventing a concussion in the process.
A Custom Mouth Guard is Best
While over-the-counter mouth guards are available at drug stores, these don’t provide the best protection for your young athlete. They also tend to be uncomfortable, which discourages your child from wearing the device and leaves her prone to injury.
A better alternative is to have a custom mouth guard fashioned from a mold of your child’s teeth. This ensures the proper fit and adequate protection while playing contact sports. You may need to make this a back-to-school tradition until your child’s jaw is done growing.
Have a Custom Mouth Guard Made at Evanson DDS
Dr. Evanson has experience creating custom mouth guards for athletes of all ages. Our goal is to prevent tooth and soft tissue injuries in kids, teens, and adults who play contact sports. Of course, if an incident occurs on the field, we also offer emergency dental services.
For more information about custom athletic mouth guards, or to schedule an appointment to have one made for your child, please contact Evanson DDS online or call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 today.Leave a reply →