Elbow guards, knee pads and helmets are generally considered pieces of essential equipment for kids playing contact sports, but mouthguards for children are often overlooked, despite the protection that they offer to jaws, teeth and the brain. Even if your child is playing non-contact sport, a mouthguard should be worn at every practice session and match. Let’s look at the benefits of sports mouthguards for children.
Who Should Wear A Mouthguard?
Mouth guards aren’t only beneficial for playing contact sports like rugby, football, and hockey. If your child is mountain biking, playing basketball, baseball, netball or lacrosse, a mouthguard can help to minimise or prevent serious injury.
What Types Of Sports Mouthguards Are Available?
There are three categories of mouth guards available: store-bought, boil and bite and custom fitted. A custom fitted mouthguard offers your child the best level of protection because they are created to fit the contours and shape of your child’s mouth. They are slimmer and more streamlined and thus more comfortable to wear.
While a store-bought mouthguard may not be the best, wearing one is better than not wearing one at all.
This means a good fit that will not slip out of place or interfere with breathing or communication.
How Do Sports Mouthguards Help Against Injury?
Sports mouthguards are fitted over the upper jaw. They push the jaw forward and create a physical barrier to prevent the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with one another in case of impact. They also create a space between the cheek and gums and function very much like a shock absorber, to absorb impact and redistribute it over a bigger surface area.
What Are The Benefits Of Mouthguards For Children?
Protect Your Child Against Dental Injuries
There are many dental injuries that can occur during the course of a sports game or training session. Some of the most common that can be minimised or prevented by wearing a mouthguard include
- Cracked, chipped, fractured or broken teeth
- Injuries to the tongue, gums or soft tissue
- Knocked out teeth
Protect The Jaw
Mouth guards are made from compressed layers of material that absorb and distribute the force of impact to lessen the blow. The force of the impact can cause damage to the jaw and the temporomandibular joint if your child isn’t wearing a mouthguard.
In some cases, this can also lead to a concussion, as the impact can travel up the jaw and towards the brain.
Protect The Mouth If Your Child Wears Orthodontics
Wearing braces puts your child at risk of injury to their soft tissue and wearing a mouthguard is even more important when your child has orthodontics. Your child will need a custom-fitted mouthguard to be made, to fit over his or her braces. If your child has braces he or she should wear the mouthguard during all sports sessions, not just for contact sports.
To find out more about the importance of mouthguards for children or to make an appointment for a fitting please contact us for a convenient appointment: