Game On: 5 Reasons Your Kid Needs a Mouth Guard for Spring Sports

A mouth guard can save teeth.

Time for that score!

Watching your child succeed is such a fantastic feeling. At every game, you’re on the edge of your seat, screaming for your children to get that home run or to score that touchdown. You know their coaches teach them how to play safely, but what other ways are there to keep them safe?

Did you know that mouth guards are helpful for more than just nighttime teeth grinding? They can also protect the mouths of players in contact sports such as football, soccer, and wrestling. But even in non-contact sports, a mouth guard might be necessary! Though spring sports such as softball and baseball may be labeled as non-contact, one good hit with a bat or ball can create lasting issues to your child’s smile.

Mouth guards are available for purchase over the counter, or you can have one custom made by the dentist. Both work well, but a store-bought mouth guard rarely fits properly, making it less likely that your child will willingly wear it. Over-the-counter mouth guards are also usually made out of a thinner plastic than ones made at a dentist’s office. 

Preventing Dental Injuries: Shielding Against Impact

Ensuring that your child wears their mouth guard during their practices and games this spring is exactly what they need to protect their smile. Mouth guards are there to keep their teeth and other oral structures safe during physical activities. If they get a particularly hard hit, they are much less likely to have permanent damage or to need major dental work in the future.

Prevention is always key when it comes to taking care of your child’s teeth. For example, if a tooth is lost, it can cause more issues than just leaving a gap in their smile. When a tooth is missing, the rest of the teeth will naturally shift over time to fill the gap. This will create massive issues with their bite. Yes, this even goes for baby teeth if they come out too early!

Reducing the Risk of Concussions

It is thought by some that because mouth guards absorb impact, they can lower the risk of concussions. There are more studies needed to confirm this theory, but it never hurts to be too careful! At the very least, wearing a mouth guard in the event of facial impact protects more than just the teeth. By supplying a much-needed cushion that absorbs the impact, it keeps the jaw and soft tissues safe from injury. 

Preventing Chipped, Cracked, and Lost Teeth

Mouth guards protect your child’s mouth in multiple ways. Whether your child crashes into another during spring football training or a stray ball finds them during a baseball game, wearing a mouth guard reduces both their risk of getting a tooth knocked out and the likelihood of breaks and chips occurring. It also protects their tongue, lips, and cheeks from severe bites. This one preventive measure can drastically minimize the need for costly dental restorations in the future. 

Being Prepared in Case of Dental Emergencies

No matter how hard you try to keep your child safe, sometimes accidents happen. This is especially true when you have highly active children in sports. It’s important to have an emergency plan in place for this reason—just in case!

Though a mouth guard helps tremendously to protect your child’s smile, there’s always the chance of them forgetting to put it in. Just in case, talk to your child’s dentist about how to reach them in case of a dental emergency.

Focusing on Comfort and Confidence

When choosing the right mouth guard for your child, remember that you want it to be as comfortable as possible. If it doesn’t bother them, they are more able to focus on the task at hand—winning that game! They are also more likely to actually wear it.

Ensuring their teeth are protected can also give them the psychological boost of knowing they are as safe as they can be. They will feel free and confident to play their best possible game.

Time To Prepare

Ensuring your child has a well-fitting mouth guard does more than just keep their mouth safe. It can also increase their confidence as they play, reduce the risk of soft tissue injury, and shield their smiles from hard hits.

When getting your child ready for their very first practice this spring, be sure to take a moment to ensure their teeth are well protected. To make an appointment for a custom-fit sports mouth guard, give us a call here at Pediatric Dental Specialists.