As the beginning of the school year draws near, many children are excited to participate in their favorite fall sports. That also means it’s time for parents to get their children fitted with sports mouth guards.
But why does your child need a mouth guard? Because it can protect them from a variety of injuries one can sustain while participating in sports. Athletes are 60 times more likely to experience tooth damage when they don’t wear a mouth guard, with those involved in contact sports having a 10 percent chance of getting a tooth or jaw injury each season. Here’s what you need to know.
Mouth Guards for Protection
A mouth guard is a simple item that protects the teeth and jaw from damage related to impacts. It protects soft tissues from lacerations, reduces the chance of TMJ trauma and jaw fractures, and helps limit the risk of tooth damage related to impact or even unconscious grinding. They can even reduce the likelihood of a concussion from certain impacts.
Even with all of the benefits, nearly 84 percent of children aren’t wearing mouth guards when they play sports. And that means they are at risk.
Why a Custom Mouth Guard is Best
Some parents assume the basic mouth guards you can buy at the local store offer enough protection, but a custom fitted mouth guard from your Waco or Harker Heights dentist is actually a much better option. Stock mouth guards that aren’t moldable can easily come loose during sports and may even fall out. They are also less comfortable than other options and tend to be bulky.
A boil and bite mouth guard purchased at a store offers a bit of a better fit, since they can be somewhat molded to your child’s teeth, but they also don’t provide the same secure fit that you can get with a custom mouth guard.
The dentist can ensure the custom mouth guard fits properly, providing the best level of protection available. This is especially true of children who wear braces or have other dental appliances, as fitting store-bought options can be a challenge in these cases.
Your Waco or Harker Heights dentist can even create a mouth guard for your child that features some extra flare. They can be made in a variety of colors, including options that match most school sports team uniforms, allowing your child to show their school pride with every smile on the court or field.
The process of creating a custom mouth guard is fairly quick and easy, and the results offer the best protection available. If you want to learn more about custom mouth guard options, schedule an appointment with your Waco or Harker Heights dentist today.