Growing up, our children participate in all kinds of sports leagues across the country. Because so many children participate in sports, the number of injuries has substantially increased. One study by the American Dental Association found that the number of sports-related injuries affected 36% of participants. Of those participants who were injured, 20% suffered an injury to the oral cavity.
Due to the high rate of injury, the American Dental Association has published their recommendation that all participants wear mouthguards while participating in both practices and games. This is for all contact sports. Contact sports include soccer, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, football, basketball, field hockey, and skateboarding. It should be noted that this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Sports mouthguards are incredibly useful in protecting the soft and hard tissue of the mouth. They act as shock absorbers protecting the lips, gums, teeth, tongue, and even the interior of the cheek from injury.
Any patients with questions regarding mouthguards for sports should come to our Bonnie & Simone office so we can discuss all options. We can take measurements of your child's mouth for a custom-fitted mouthguard.
How Early Should Kids Start Wearing Mouthguards?
According to the American Dental Association's recommendations, they suggest mouth guards be worn for participants seven years old or older. This is for both recreational and competitive sports. Wearing mouthguards lowers the chance for the upper and lower teeth getting injuries.
Reasons for a Mouthguard
The vast majority of sports-related injuries affecting the oral cavity could easily be avoided simply by wearing a mouthguard. The injuries sustained could include a fractured tooth, chipped tooth, or tooth that was completely knocked out. The roots of the teeth can also be injured beneath the gumline as can the jawbone. When the jawbone is injured, it can impact the entire stability of the patient's oral cavity. Teeth can also become partially extruded which means that while the tooth is in its socket, it is in an entirely different position which makes it appear shorter than the rest of the teeth.
When patients begin wearing mouthguards it is important to make sure they fit properly. It needs to fit snugly in the mouth.
Any patients who have concerns because their children are playing sports should come into our office to discuss the mouthguard options and the importance of wearing one. We are always interested in helping our patients with their oral health care here at Bonnie & Simone. We can also be reached by phone by calling us at (757) 540-1028.