Guarding Your Athlete’s Smile

'athlete wearing mouth guard'Let’s face it: kids are going to be kids. They’re going to fall down and play rough, and most of the time there’s just not much you can do about it.

When it comes to sports though, it is imperative that you make sure your child has the proper equipment to keep them safe in the game. In fact, children are most vulnerable to mouth injuries while playing sports from seven to eleven years of age.

Your mini-athlete will be 60x less likely (yes sixty, that’s not a typo), to experience oral injuries if they choose to wear a mouth guard! This is why the Academy for Sports Dentistry, or ASD, recommends wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sport with a high-risk for collision.

Common sports requiring mouth guards include football, hockey, and martial arts. Other sports such as soccer, basketball, and gymnastics are also prone to these types of injuries but do not usually require participants to use the same protection.

Store-bought mouth guards come in most colors and some even have fun designs on them like wolf teeth, encouraging kids to feel confident about wearing them.

The most common type of mouth guard is the “boil-and-bite” kind, allowing you to mold and shape them to fit your teeth using only water and heat. These can be found at most sporting goods stores, and some even come with a protection guarantee!

Whenever possible, stay away from stock or preformed mouth guards. They don’t allow a tight enough fit to properly protect your teeth and while you might save on the up-front cost a bit, your dental bill will quickly offset those savings.

The best way to keep your child’s teeth safe is always to talk to us about your options and, whichever you choose, just remember that preventative action is always the best solution to save your child the pain of a dental emergency, and yourself the pricey consequence that comes with waiting until its too late.

Want to learn more about protecting your little one’s smile? Give Great Grins Children's Dental Specialists a call at 502-231-1418 to schedule an appointment today!