Does my little athlete need a mouthguard?

All sporting activities carry the danger of certain injuries, particularly contact sports. A mouthguard can help protect your child’s smile.

Does my little athlete need a mouthguard?
 Consult with your child’s dentist or orthodontist about choosing the most protective mouthguard.

A mouthguard is an essential piece of safety equipment for children who play sports, particularly contact sports such as rugby, soccer, and martial arts. Let’s examine the fundamentals of mouthguards designed to protect your child’s teeth during physical exercise.

Why does my child need a mouthguard?

Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors, reduce the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, cheek, and jaw following a blow to the face. They normally cover the upper teeth and protect the sensitive tissues of the tongue, lips, and inside of the cheeks.

When it comes to mouth protection, a mouthguard is a vital component of athletic equipment that should be required from an early age. Studies indicate that young athletes are 60 times more likely to sustain tooth damage if they do not wear a mouthguard. Although collision and contact sports, such as boxing, pose a greater risk of oral damage, non-contact hobbies, such as gymnastics and skating, also pose a risk.

What type of mouthguards are there?

Custom-fitted mouthguards are custom-made by your child’s dentist. They are more expensive than other variants but typically provide the finest fit because of their customisation. There are also reasonably priced and ready-to-wear mouthguards on sale at various pharmacies and health outlets. They are first softened in hot water, then placed in the mouth and allowed to conform to its shape.

Good to know: Children who wear braces or have a permanent bridge may find a custom-fitted mouthguard beneficial. A hit to the face may cause damage to the brackets or other orthodontic appliances that are fixed. A mouthguard also acts as a barrier between the braces and the cheeks or lips, so reducing the chance of soft tissue injuries.

How to take care of your child’s mouthguard

  • Before and after each usage, rinse with water or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Periodically clean the mouthguard with soapy water and thoroughly rinse.
  • Transport the mouthguard in a robust, perforated container.
  • Never expose the mouthguard to direct sunlight or hot water.
  • Examine for wear and tear to determine if it requires replacement.