The benefits of being involved in athletics are innumerable. Teamwork, confidence, leadership, patience, and better health are just a few of the things that you or your child will gain from this experience. It can sometimes be difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch your child participate, especially when it is a contact sport.
You will do your best to protect your child while they are playing, and that means choosing a mouthguard. Even sports that don’t seem to be contact sports can result in dental injury! While skin and bones heal, teeth often require replacement after a serious injury.
An athletic mouthguard can serve as a type of insurance policy for you so that even if an injury happens, you will be prepared ahead of time. As they say, be prepared for the storm and hope for the sun.
Who Needs an Athletic Mouthguard?
You may be wondering if an athletic mouthguard is appropriate for your child and their athletic involvement. We believe that a mouthguard should be required for all contact sports, but we also know that injuries happen in all activities. Even something as non-contact as running can result in injury when an elbow is thrown at the start, a runner trips and hits their jaw on a rock, or a runner clenches their teeth while running, creating damage to the jaw joint.
You will ultimately have to decide with your child, but we would always recommend a mouthguard for just about any athletic event.
Types of Mouthguards
Not all mouthguards are created to the same standard. Take a look below to see what we mean.
One-Size-Fits-Most – The cheapest option is a stock mouthguard that is made to fit most mouths. You might find a S-M-L-XL sizing, but not usually. These are just big hulks of plastic made to cover your teeth, but they do very little to actually protect the smile because they don’t fit the teeth. Because of the size, players struggle to breathe and communicate with teammates, which makes kids less likely to wear this type of mouthguard.
Boil and Bite – One step up from the cheapest option is the boil and bite mouthguard. This is a more flexible piece of plastic that you can heat and then create an impression within the guard. This will offer at least some protection, but the mouthguard is still so big and bulky that it is not comfortable. Most athletes struggle to wear these types of mouthguards while competing.
Custom – A custom mouthguard is the most expensive, but it is also the only mouthguard that can pair function with comfort. Custom mouthguards are made from an impression taken at the dentist’s office. We use a strong plastic to create a guard that will match your child’s smile perfectly. It is highly effective, but it is also very comfortable to wear. The guard isn’t big and bulky, which means your athlete can breathe and talk to their teammates!
Your Insurance Policy
Dental work is expensive. Even with dental insurance, you want to be able to care for your teeth so that you don’t have to spend money on restorations and complex procedures. When playing a sport, that means protecting teeth from injury.
Choosing a mouthguard is like purchasing an insurance policy for your child’s smile. With that small investment, you can rest easy knowing that your child’s smile is safe. Even if they do suffer an injury, it will not be as severe.
Making a Mouthguard Your Kid Will Actually Wear
One of the biggest problems with mouthguards is getting compliance from the athlete. You don’t want to purchase a mouthguard that your athlete won’t wear! What you need to realize is that while a custom mouthguard is more expensive, it is also much more likely that your child will wear it.
The thinner design can come in a variety of colors, which means your student will feel some ownership over the mouthguard. There is also an element of expectation. Your child needs to know that you expect them to wear this protection while they play. Once you’ve laid down the law, compliance will be more successful.
Learn More Today
If you’re ready to learn more about athletic mouthguards or how to care for your child’s smile, just let us know! Contact our office to set up an appointment or consultation. We would love to see your entire family, so call today!
Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.
And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.