In honor of Youth Sports Safety Month we want to discuss mouth guards and their use for children participating in spring sports. 84% of children don’t wear a mouth guard while playing organized sports. Last year, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation* forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in sporting events. We understand asking children to wear a mouth guard during physical activities can be challenging to a parent. But it is worth the effort.
Most often, we think of mouth guards for “contact” sports, such as: football, boxing or hockey. However, there is incidental contact in many other activities such as: biking, baseball, softball, basketball, skateboarding and soccer. These activities can also lead to trauma to your teeth, jaw joints, tongue and lips. Unfortunately, dental injuries can be painful, permanent and costly to repair. The good news is that many mouth injuries can be avoided by proper use of a mouth guard. The American Dental Association has estimated that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries in high school and collegiate sports alone.**
When considering types of mouth guards, remember that unless the mouth guard is comfortable and well fitted, it is much less likely to be worn. Different types of mouth guards include “boil and bite” mouth guards that are available at most sporting goods stores, and custom mouth guards that can be fabricated here at Stephens Dentistry. You can often get mouth guards in different themes and colors, encouraging children to wear them more often. Call us today to discuss the type of mouth guard that will work best in your situation.
* National Youth Sports Safety Foundation – http://www.health.gov/nhic/NHICScripts/Entry.cfm?HRCode=HR2693
** American Dental Association – Mouth Guards: http://www.ada.org/2713.aspx?currentTab=2