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Does My Child Need a Mouthguard for School Sports?

August 26, 2022 2:50 am

Many kids love playing school sports, including baseball, basketball, soccer, and football. Sports are a great way for young people to develop teamwork skills, better fitness, and confidence. Playing a sport comes with risks, however, so it’s important to take certain safety precautions. This includes wearing the proper safety gear.

Sports-Related Dental Injuries

It is estimated that 13-39% of dental injuries are related to sports, with basketball having the highest injury rate for both males and females. This is because of the game’s fast pace and risk of the face getting hit with a another player’s hand or elbow.

The most common orofacial injuries include fractures, TMJ trauma, and knocked-out teeth. Teeth can also be forcefully pushed back into the jaw. If your child suffers a dental injury while playing a sport, please get in touch with an emergency dentist!

Sports That Need a Mouthguard

The National Federation of State High School Associations only mandates the use of mouthguards for football, ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, and wrestlers wearing braces. However, the American Dental Association recommends athletes in the following sports wear a properly-fitting mouthguard:

  • acrobatics & gymnastics
  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • equestrian events
  • extreme sports & sky diving
  • field events
  • field hockey
  • football
  • ice hockey
  • racquetball & squash
  • rugby
  • inline skating & skateboarding
  • shotputting
  • martial arts
  • skiing
  • soccer
  • softball
  • surfing
  • volleyball
  • water polo
  • weight lifting
  • wrestling

Should You Get a Custom Mouthguard at the Dentist?

Mouthguards protect an athlete’s teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue, and lips from all kinds of dental trauma. You can buy mouthguards online or at a sports equipment store, but mouthguards from a dentist are far superior! They’re custom-made to fit your child’s smile so they’re more comfortable to wear and offer optimal protection.

How to Care for a Mouthguard

Before and after each use, clean the mouthguard with a toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Your child should not chew on their mouthguard, which can alter its shape and decrease its effectiveness. When your child isn’t using the mouthguard, make sure they’re storing it in a hard case so it doesn’t get crushed or lost.

Athletic Mouthguards at Bolivar Smiles Dentistry in Bolivar, MO

As part of our comprehensive dental services, Bolivar Smiles Dentistry offers comfortable sports mouthguards for athletes. So if you’re interested in getting a mouthguard for your child this school year, please contact us today for a consultation with Dr. Chad or Dr. Pulsipher!

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