Athletes wear helmets, pads and other protective gear to keep their bodies safe, but it’s important to remember that teeth need specialized protection too. Whether your child is participating in football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, or any other active sport, a mouthguard is an important piece of equipment.
An extensive review of student athlete injuries published in Sports Health found that the most common dental injuries in sports include:
- Fractures of the tooth (crown)
- Tooth Intrusion – Tooth has been pushed into the gum.
- Tooth Extrusion – Tooth is still in its place but in the wrong position.
- Tooth Avulsion – Tooth completely knocked out.
- Temporomandibular joint (jaw) dislocation
Studies found that mouth guards help prevent most injuries and do not significantly affect ventilation or speech if fitted properly.
Store-bought mouthguards can be molded to your child’s teeth by boiling them and pressing them on, however, they do not fit as well as ones specially made by a dentist. They tend to be uncomfortable, bulky, and don’t always offer complete coverage, lessening their effectiveness.
A recent survey of student athletes in Houston area schools reported that students who had store-bought mouthguards were less likely to wear it than their peers with custom protection.
The 2016 survey of middle and high school athletes found:
Didn't Have Any Type of Mouthguard
Injury Rate for Athletes with Store-Bought Mouthguard
Injury Rate for Athletes with Custom Mouthguard
If your child plays any kind of sport where a mouthguard is recommended or required, it’s suggested that you talk with a dentist about getting a mouthguard custom formed to their teeth. With advanced tools and technology to fit a mouthguard to their teeth, your dentist will be able to make one that is comfortable, form-fitting, and stays in place. At Super Kids Dental we can make a custom mouthguard to protect your athlete’s smile.