While teeth are pretty strong and durable, they can still get damaged. They’re also incredibly important and very much worth protecting. Sometimes, keeping your kids’ teeth in good condition requires the use of a mouthguard. Here’s why mouthguards are an essential item to have on hand in some circumstances and how they help protect your child’s smile.
How Does a Mouthguard Work?
Even if you’ve never worn a mouthguard yourself, you’ve likely seen them in action while watching your favorite sports teams or a boxing match. Mouthguards fit over the teeth to create a protective barrier between the teeth and potential impacts. In addition to absorbing the power of direct blows to the teeth or jaw, they also keep teeth from biting down too hard on themselves during an impact, which can also cause damage.
When Should Kids Wear Mouthguards?
The situation where it’s most important for kids to wear a mouthguard is during athletic practices or competitions. If your child plays basketball, football, soccer, or other sports where collisions or blows to the head are possible, they should wear a mouthguard. This way, they can focus on having fun and building their skills without worrying about losing or chipping a tooth in the process.
Sporting events aren’t the only occasions where mouthguards will be important. If your child struggles with bruxism, a condition that will cause them to grind their teeth during their sleep, then wearing a mouthguard could be a good solution. If you think your child grinds their teeth, talk to your dentist or orthodontist to determine what type of mouthguard might be best.
Wearing a Mouthguard with Braces
When your child has braces, wearing a mouthguard will be especially important. The metal pieces that make up the braces create the potential for additional injuries during impacts to the face, such as lacerations to the gums, insides of the cheeks, or tongue. The impact-absorbing material will at least minimize injuries during sporting competitions.
Of course, the mouthguard will also help prevent damage to the braces themselves, which can save you a trip to the orthodontist’s office as well as a trip to the ER. If anything does happen to your child’s braces, be sure to schedule an emergency appointment as soon as you can so their treatment is not delayed.
Types of Mouthguards
Not all mouthguards are the same, so be sure to carefully pick which mouthguard to equip your child with.
For any sporting event where your child will be at risk of an impact to the face, they should have a stock mouthguard, which you can find at most sporting goods stores.
If they have braces, custom orthodontic mouthguards that fit over their braces are available to use while playing sports.
One of the most common types is a boil and bite mouthguard, which can also often be found at sporting goods stores. After heating up this mouthguard in boiling water and letting it cool down slightly, it can be shaped to roughly match your child’s bite.
Contact Smith Orthodontics today to learn more about the benefits of mouthguards for kids.