Preventing Sports Injuries
Over 5 million teeth will be knocked out due to sports injuries this year, according to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. With youth sports becoming higher impact and more competitive every year, it is important to protect your child’s teeth and mouth from injury. This year it is estimated that as much as 39 percent of children’s injuries will be related to tooth trauma.
Since most sports-related tooth injuries occur toward the front of the maxillary arch, or upper arch, teeth injuries can not only be painful, but also conspicuous, causing psychological damage along with physical pain. Our dentist recommends investing in a comfortable, reliable mouthguard to help you avoid the emotional, physical, and financial toll that comes with a knocked out tooth.
How to Encourage Your Child to Wear Mouth Protection
Since some children do not like to wear mouthguards because of the way they look or because of discomfort, it is important to include your child in choosing a mouthguard to encourage them to want to wear mouth protection. After all, a mouthguard left on the sidelines will not keep your child’s teeth safe. Make sure the mouthguard is the right size for your child’s mouth. Most sporting goods stores carry youth-sized mouthguards in a variety of colors. Letting your child choose his or her favorite color may make wearing mouth protection more appealing.
Different Types of Mouthguards
You have several options when it comes to choosing a mouthguard. The three main types of mouth protection include custom-fabricated, boil-and-bite, and pre-made mouthguards. Custom-made mouthguards are created in the dentist’s office using vacuum-forming or heat-laminating techniques. These cushions offer the most comfortable protection since the material is custom-fitted to your exact bite and smile shape. Boil-and-bite mouthguards, or mouth-formed protection involves heating thermoplastic material so that it molds to the shape of your bite. This is a less expensive alternative to mouth guards made in the dentist’s office; however it does not offer the same retention and comfort. Stock mouthguards are pre-formed by the manufacturer into a one-size-fits-all shape. These mouthguards often require teeth clenching to keep them in place which can become tiresome. However, these mouthguards may be a good option for children with continually changing bite shape or kids undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Participate in National Facial Protection Month This April
For more information about preventing sports injuries to your teeth and mouth, contact Chicago dentist, Dr. James Fondriest at (847)234-0517 to schedule an appointment. Our custom-fabricated mouthguards can be worn comfortably during sports or at night to treat TMJ disorder and bruxism. We serve patients from the North Shore of Chicago.