You’re at your child’s big game cheering them on when suddenly the ball comes out of nowhere and hits them in the face. You rush over immediately only to find one of your worst nightmares: one of your child’s teeth has been knocked out, and you’ll need to get to the dentist immediately if there’s going to be any chance of saving it. Unfortunately, dental emergencies are an all-too-common issue for young athletes, but luckily you can take preventive countermeasures. Here’s how a mouthguard helps protect your child’s precious smile.
Why Does My Child Need a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are typically worn on the upper teeth and can cushion any blows that your child takes to the face. This helps protect them from broken teeth as well as injuries to the lips, tongue, face, jaw or cheek lining.
Obviously, this added protection is essential for collision and contact sports such as football and boxing that carry a high risk of getting hit in the mouth. That said, even with non-contact activities like gymnastics there’s a chance of accidents resulting in dental emergencies. In general, studies have shown that athletes are almost 60 times more likely to suffer from broken or lost teeth without a mouthguard. To avoid the need for expensive, complicated dental procedures, it’s best to take steps that’ll help your child avoid the worst-case scenario.
What Kinds of Mouthguards Are There?
There are a few different kinds of mouthguards to choose from:
- Custom-fitted mouthguards are made specifically for your child by their dentist. They usually offer the best fit compared to other mouthguards.
- Stock mouthguards come pre-formed. They can be worn right away, but they usually won’t fit very well; in fact, they’re often so bulky that they make it harder for your child to speak and breathe.
- Boil and bite mouthguards are bought over the counter like stock mouthguards, but they can be softened in boiling water and fitted to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
Talk to your dentist about the available options so that you can choose the mouthguard that’s right for your child. In general, custom-made mouthguards will be the most comfortable and effective. They’re especially useful for children who wear braces; not only can they be designed to take the brackets and wires into account, but they also stop the metal parts from injuring the inside of the cheeks or lips.
No matter what kind of mouthguard you get, make sure your child takes good care of it by brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste before and after they use it. You should also occasionally check it for wear and tear. Make sure that your child’s smile has the best protection available!
About the Practice
At Dentists of Newtown, our large team of specialists can help solve any dental problem you have under one roof. We offer many different forms of preventive care and can provide custom-made mouthguards for the athletes in your family. To schedule a consultation, visit our website or call (215) 579-9900.