There are many reasons why sports are beneficial to children. It develops discipline. It teaches teamwork. It is an excellent way to get exercise. Those advantages make sports worth it.
But, all those preseason sports practices and the actual fall sports season can be occasions for injury. Fortunately, there is a solution. Using mouthguards is one way to minimize the health risks.
Why wear a mouthguard?
It is hard to argue against the statistics. Students have a 10% chance of getting a facial or dental injury while playing sports. Almost 1/3 of all dental injuries are from being out on the field. Furthermore, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, an athlete is 70 times more likely to damage their teeth when they are not wearing a mouthguard.
A mouthguard is worn in the mouth in situations where trauma to the face might happen. Mouthguards work by cushioning blows against the mouth. It also softens the force against the teeth, lips, jaw, face, and tongue.
Mouthguards can spell the difference between a sore mouth and a knocked out tooth. In some cases, the mouthguard can prevent the jaw from fracturing.
These numbers related to sports injuries don’t have to be frightening. They can be addressed by getting the proper protection. Let the student-athlete wear a mouthguard to reduce the chances of injury.
Children wearing braces have higher chances of injury.
All student-athletes benefit from wearing a mouthguard during sports. But, for those wearing braces, mouthguards are indispensable.
Braces can cut the mouth and make mouth injuries worse. Mouthguards are essential to keep the contact between the mouth and the braces minimal. Much like how airbags in cars prevent further injuries, mouthguards soften the blow.
The mouthguard acts as a barrier between the braces and the soft tissue of the mouth, cheeks, and lips. It prevents lacerations, which can lead to further trauma and bleeding.
Fortunately, mouthguards can be designed to fit over teeth with braces. It does not have to be an either-or situation. A student-athlete can wear braces and a mouthguard at the same time.
Don’t forget the little ones.
Sports aren’t just played by teens. Even younger kids frequently get in on the action. Parents should not take their small sizes for granted.
According to the American Dental Association, more than half the people who sustained sports and recreation-related injuries each year are children as young as five years old. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation echoed these concerns. It predicted that children will lose three million teeth because of sports each year.
Your Katy TX Dentists at Dentistry by RSE generally recommend that kids wear mouthguards as soon as their permanent teeth start to emerge. Permanent teeth usually start to erupt at 6 to 7 years old. But, there are some exceptions to the rule. For some sports, dentists recommend the use mouthguards earlier. it is best to consult with a pediatric dentist or orthodontist for expert advice.
Gear Up: Mouthguards as Sports Equipment
The risk of injury is always there when playing sports. But, there are ways to minimize that risk. A mouthguard is to the mouth, what the helmet is to the head.
No parent would let their child walk out into football field without a helmet because helmets are seen as essential tools to prevent head injuries. Mouthguards are no different. They serve the same function, which is to minimize the risk of physical harm on the athlete-student. It should be part of the roster of must-haves for sports gear.
Children cannot be shielded all the time. But, they can be taught how to be smarter athletes by making sure that part of their sports routine is to wear a mouthguard.