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Does Your Child Really Need a Mouth Guard?

If your child participates in one of the most popular contact sports, such as hockey or football, they probably have a mouthguard attached to their helmet as part of their standard gear. But those aren’t the only sports that can put your child’s teeth in danger.

Our team at Brite Dental Spa in Midtown West, New York, New York, recommends mouthguards for children who engage in a variety of sports, even if the team doesn’t require them. Here’s why.

Benefits of a mouthguard

You probably spend a lot of time and money outfitting your kid for their sport. Uniforms, practice attire, the right shoes, and of course protective gear all add up. But if you haven’t considered a mouthguard for your child, you may be leaving their mouth wide open to traumatic injury.

A mouthguard is a simple plastic appliance that rests inside the mouth, covering the teeth and gums. In the event of a collision or fall, the mouthguard cushions the blow and prevents teeth from chipping or breaking.

Mouthguards also protect the soft tissue in your child’s mouth. It’s not uncommon for a stiff jolt or tackle to cause a player to bite their lip or tongue, so a mouthguard can save more than just teeth.

And if your child wears braces, a mouthguard prevents the wires and brackets from breaking and also prevents them from poking through the cheeks and gums.

Research shows that wearing a mouthguard may even reduce your child’s risk for concussion, as it absorbs the shock from the jaw and may mitigate the force on the brain.

Does your child need a mouthguard?

Whether your child plays organized sports or participates in non-competitive recreational activities, their teeth may be at risk. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children who play in the following sports should wear a mouthguard:

The ADA also urges parents to have their children wear mouthguards during limited-contact sports, such as baseball, gymnastics, volleyball, softball, and other similar sports and activities. 

Choosing a mouthguard 

There are three main types of mouthguards available: stock mouthguards sold in most sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite guards that mold to your mouth, and custom guards fitted here in our office.

Any protection is better than no protection at all, so as long as your child is wearing some type of mouthguard, they will be safer than those who don’t. But the best protection is the one that fits properly and comfortably without causing pain.

At Brite Dental Spa, we use the intraoral iTero scanner to create a digital impression of your child’s mouth. This allows the lab technicians to manufacture a mouthguard that fits the unique contours of your child’s mouth. 

To learn more about the benefits of mouthguards or to get your child fitted for a custom mouthguard, schedule an appointment today by calling our friendly staff or booking one online. 

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