With the fall sports season approaching and little tikes ready to try all kinds of fun activities, it’s also time to make sure they are properly protected. Along with the shin guards, shoulder pads and helmets, a mouthguard is an important piece of equipment to protect athletes of all ages.
Injuries and accidents in sports sometimes cannot be avoided. But with the proper protective equipment, they often can be prevented. During athletic activities that carry a risk for injury to the mouth and teeth, always wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards should always be worn during contact sports like football, soccer, baseball and hockey, and are highly recommended during other non-contact sports too.
Wearing a mouthguard can prevent:
- Bitten or lacerated tongue, lip, or cheek
- Dislodged or knocked out teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Jaw fracture
- And possibly even neck injury
But not all mouthguards are the same and choosing the right type for your child may help increase the likelihood that it gets used.
Common types to consider:
- Stock: Ready-made and can be found at most sports stores. Held in place by clenching teeth.
- Mouth-formed or boil and bite: Available in most stores as well. Often offer a better fit than stock options. Made of plastic that you heat and then bite into to have a more custom and comfortable fit.
- Custom-made: Your dentists will custom make a mouthguard for you. These are usually the most comfortable.
Now with the right mouth gear, everyone in the family should be prepared for a fun fall full of sports!