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Protect Your Childs Teeth From Sport Injuries

Participating in sports, even non-contact sports, can put children at risk for broken teeth, damaged gums or worse. Mouthguards are absolutely essential equipment for athletes in a range of sports, and a custom fitted mouthguard made by your dentist provides the best possible protection.

Three simple mouthguards isolated

According to the American Dental Association, more than 2 million teeth are knocked out each year because of sports related injuries. But studies have shown that mouthguards can prevent injuries like broken teeth, jaw fractures and, in some cases, more serious head and brain injuries. Mouthguards help protect teeth and soft tissues of the mouth by spreading out the force of impact, which helps to minimize the severity of trauma to the teeth and gums. And a 2014 study confirms that custom fitted mouthguards not only protect the mouth itself but can also help prevent traumatic brain injuries by helping to absorb shock and limit movement by the jaw.

Mouthguards are usually required for contact sports like football, lacrosse and hockey, but can also provide protection for young athletes playing basketball, softball, soccer and other sports as well as activities like in-line skating and martial arts. Even sports that we may not think of as contact sports (like gymnastics) can cause mouth injuries. Getting hit by a stick or another player is not the only way to suffer a mouth or head injury: sports that involve contact with the floor or another hard surface can also cause broken teeth and beyond.

There are three main types of mouthguards available: stock, boil-and-bite and custom fitted.

Stock mouth guards are the lowest cost option but offer the least protection. These one-size-fits-all guards provide minimal protection and make talking virtually impossible.

Many people use the thermoplastic or boil-and-bite option, which involves boiling the guard in water and then biting down on it to get a semi-fitted feel. These popular over the counter guards are sold at most sporting goods stores, and while they’re certainly better than no guard at all, they don’t provide nearly as much protection as a custom fitted guard.

A custom fitted mouthguard made by your dentist offers the best fit, has the smallest effect on speech and breathing and can take into account previous dental work better than over the counter guards. Custom guards are made by taking a cast of your teeth and offer the most protection and comfort and the best fit. A dental impression is taken and used to make a model of your child’s teeth. The model is used to form special laminated material (custom fitted guards are usually made of higher quality, tear-resistant material) over the teeth for a custom fit—this allows for maximum protection. Mouthguards are generally worn over the upper teeth only, but in some special case, your dentist can create a mouthguard for the lower teeth as well. The fittings are generally quick and painless and your dentist has a range of options for finding the best guard for your child.

The American Dental Association recommends cleaning your mouthguard daily with water and an antiseptic mouth rinse and storing it in a breathable container to allow air circulation. As always, regular dental checkups are a must (and bring along your guard) to make sure the fit is still good.

While custom mouthguards are pricier than over the counter models and may not be covered by all insurance plans, the cost is actually surprisingly low, especially considering the amazing potential benefits and factoring in the cost of dental work in the event of a lost or broken tooth.

Many parents spend hundreds of dollars on shoes, uniforms and other equipment, when a safety enhancing and potentially cost saving preventive item may be overlooked. We’re all aware of the stereotype of the toothless hockey player, and without proper safety measures, that stereotype can all too easily become a reality. Talk to your dentist about a custom fitted sports mouthguard. It can save your child’s smile—and lots of potential medical costs down the road.

Have Your Most Enjoyable and Efficient Dental Visit Ever!

At AlSaleh Dental Center, we understand that switching to a new dentist, or finding a new dentist for you or your family can be a worrisome task. You want to find someone who is professional, offers the services that you need or want, and provides a friendly and inviting atmosphere. We believe we meet that standard and beyond. Follow one of the steps below and have your most enjoyable dental visit ever!

  1. Download and read "The Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Choosing Your Dentist" to find out the most important features your dentist should exemplify and offer.
  2. Click here to schedule your no-obligation, complimentary AlSaleh Dental Health Consultation, where you will find out about what dental procedures you may need or what dental health habits you may need to form in order to prevent necessary procedures in the future.
  3. Call 304.267.8702 if you have any questions. One of our friendly team members will be glad to assist you!
Top 10 Things To Know Before Choosing Your Dentist Near Martinsburg Nollville WV
The Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Your Dental Care Provider
You should do your research before choosing your West Virginia Eastern Panhandle dentist. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable with both the treatment and the dentist. This report will guide you in some key aspects that you should look for in choosing your dentist near Martinsburg, West Virginia (WV).