The Importance of Using Sports Guards For Kids
Can you imagine losing one or more of your teeth in a sports accident?
Other than the fact that you now have gaps where your teeth used to be, basic activities like smiling, eating, and even talking would not only be painful but also rather awkward or even difficult.
Curious whether there is something to prevent such injuries?
A sports guard is a mouth guard that has been specially made for athletes to protect their teeth and gums in the case of a blow to the mouth (or even to the head or upper body).
Wearing a sports guard is important, especially for kids, as these devices help to minimize the risk of permanent damage to their oral structures. In this edition of the Ottawa South Denture Clinic blog, we’ll examine the role of sports guards for kids who play a wide range of sports.
Why Sports Guards Are Important for Kids
Sports guards are dental appliances made of soft rubberized laminate materials (thick plastic devices) that are placed over the teeth like a retainer.
These guards create a protective collision barrier between the upper and lower teeth. This barrier also protects the teeth from external contact due to blows to the mouth. These blows can be caused by a flying puck, baseball, or even elbow.
The sports guard cushions the blow and protects the athlete’s teeth and jaw bone.
In addition to protecting the mouth area, a sports guard also redistributes the force of the impact to other areas of the body to lessen the severity of a potential concussion.
Sports guards can be thanked for preventing thousands of dental injuries each year. As wearing a mouth guard is required in some sports and encouraged for others, having your son or daughter wear one can significantly reduce the risk of suffering a dental injury.
Consequences of Not Wearing a Sports Guard
As you may expect, receiving a blow to the head while not wearing a sports guard can result in having a concussion and/or a few missing teeth.
However, there are various other injuries that can result from such an impact as well. Some of these injuries include:
- Nerve and root damage to the teeth
- Fractured jaws
- Cuts and bruising to the lips and cheeks
- Fractured crowns and bridgework
These injuries are incredibly painful but can mostly be prevented by the use of a sports guard.
It is required or recommended to wear a sports guard while playing hockey, baseball, volleyball, football and any other sports with flying objects or repeated contact with other players.
Types of Sports Guards for Kids
There are three common types of sports guards, all with varying prices, comfort and protection.
The first type of sports guard is a stock mouth protector. These athletic mouth guards are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most sports stores. These guards are pre-formed and you cannot adjust them for more comfort.
Dentists don’t recommend this type of sports guard, however, because of its bulkiness and lack of adjustability. Cheaper sports guards also make it difficult for the athlete to talk or breathe.
The second type of sports guard is a boil-and-bite mouth protector. This type of mouth guard can also be found at most sporting goods stores. Unlike the previous type of sports guard, this guard can be adjusted to fit the mouth of your child.
As the name suggests, you boil the mouth guard until it softens, and then you’d have your child bite into it so that it fits their mouth better. This guard offers more protection than the previous one because it fits the mouth better. But it’s not perfect.
A dental clinic would make a mold of your mouth and send it to a lab to create a custom-fitted mouth guard. At Ottawa South Denture Clinic all of our custom-fitted mouth guards are made in our on-site lab. Because they are custom-fit they offer the most protection out of all the other types of guards.
While the cost at the outset may be higher, the level of protection prevention outweighs the initial outlay over time, especially when you take your child’s health and well-being into consideration.
Get Your Child’s Custom Sports Guard with Ottawa South Denture
Does your child participate in potentially dangerous sports?
Lower the risk of possible dental injuries by getting your child a custom fit sports guard with us at Ottawa South Denture Clinic.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about custom-fit sports guards and book your appointment to get your son or daughter fitted for one.