It’s a fact of life: kids are active. Who among us hasn’t looked at our kids and thought, “I wish I had half that much energy?” Many kids channel that energy into sports. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association estimate that more than 21 million kids between 6 and 17 play sports on a regular basis, with around 5 million more playing occasionally. That’s a lot of energy… and, unfortunately, a lot of opportunities to get hurt!
According to the American Dental Association, roughly 36% of all accidental injuries among children and teens occur while playing sports, and as many as 20% of those injuries are maxillofacial, of which dental injuries are the most common. Fortunately, there are easy and effective ways to help protect your kids and teens from dental injury when they head out to the football field, the baseball diamond, or any other sporting event this summer.
An athlete who isn’t wearing a mouthguard is roughly 60 times more likely to sustain dental damage than one who is, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety. In that knowledge along, there’s a good reason to invest in a mouthguard for your kids before they go out for sports, whether they’re playing softball or soccer.
There are basically four kinds of mouthguards to choose from, including the stock and “boil and bite” mouthguards, which may be the kind you’re most familiar with. They’re also the cheapest and the easiest to get but, because they’re mass-produced and “ready-to-wear,” they also tend to offer less protection, as well as fitting poorly and deteriorating rapidly. That’s why sporting experts (as well as your Overland Park family dentist) recommend that you invest in a custom-made mouthguard that will fit your kid’s mouth and do a better job of protecting his or her teeth.
Custom mouthguards come in both vacuum and pressure laminated varieties, but both can only be obtained with a visit to your Overland Park dentist, who’ll fit the mouthguard to your child’s teeth so that it fits comfortably and offers the optimal amount of protection. Mouthguards can also be customized for the rigors of particular sports, as well as accommodations for specific dental needs such as missing baby teeth or emerging adult teeth. Whatever your child’s mouthguard needs, a custom-made mouthguard from your Overland Park family dentist is an investment that will more than pay off in safety and comfort. At Watts Family Dental, we offer custom fittings of PlaySafe sports mouthguards for children of all ages.
Whatever custom mouthguard you purchase, it should be treated with the same care and diligence as your teeth, or any other dental implement. After each use, it should be rinsed in either cold water or antiseptic mouthwash, and stored in a perforated container so that excess moisture can evaporate. Also, whenever your child heads in for a dental checkup, don’t forget to have them bring their mouthguard along, so that it can be checked to make sure that it’s still in good shape, and is still fitting properly. Remember that an investment in a good mouthguard is more than just proper sports safety equipment, it’s an investment in your child’s smile for years to come.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.