Sports Injuries and Mouthguards – What Parents Need to Know

When putting children into a sports program, the type of mouthguard they should have may only be an afterthought. Most youth end up wearing an “over-the-counter” mouthguard found at the local grocery store.
Parents may not realize that any child playing a contact sport is at risk for serious dental and concussive injuries. Investing in the right kind of mouthguard for your child can help prevent both of these problems.
Dental Injuries
Catching an elbow to the mouth or a hockey puck to the teeth is not only painful, but also really expensive. Swollen lips will heal with time, but fixing chipped or broken teeth is something you have to deal with again and again.
Fixing a broken tooth may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars at the time of the injury. What parents may not realize is that this dental treatment will likely need to be redone several times throughout the athlete’s life.
The right type of mouthguard will reduce the risk of all major dental injuries. It’s definitely worth every parent’s time to research and invest and the right kind of mouth guard to help protect their child.
Concussive Injuries
We hear reports in the media all the time about NFL players who have long-term brain damage from concussive injuries they received while playing football.  Even if your child isn’t a professional athlete, concussions can be serious at any age.
Mouthguards that don’t fit well do very little to prevent these types of injuries, but a proper fitting mouthguard will help reduce the risk of sports-related concussions.
How to Pick the Right Mouthguard
At this point it’s clear that children involved with contact sports need a mouthguard.
The problem is, most mouthguards purchased at the grocery store do very little to actually protect your child. These “out-of-the-box” mouthguards may even put your child at more risk than not having a mouthguard at all!
To make sure your child is protected from both dental and concussive injuries, dental professionals recommend a custom fit mouthguard. Custom fit mouthguard fit better, are more comfortable, and and less prone to damage.
They do cost more, but when you factor in the cost of long-term dental repair, plus the risk of concussions, investing in the right type of mouthguard is an investment worth making!
Ask your dentist or orthodontist to find out how to get your child fitted for custom mouthguard before the next sports season starts.