Should My Kid Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports?

If your child plays any kind of contact sport like basketball, football, soccer, or participates in any athletic activity where they may intentionally or accidentally be tackled or hit by another player, you may be wondering how to protect their mouth. Should you get them a mouthguard to wear during their sports practice and games? Find out in this blog from Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry.

Yes! Mouthguards of All Types Help Prevent Serious Oral Injuries

Your child should never play any kind of contact sport without a mouthguard. The ADA has estimated that people who participate in sports without a mouthguard are 60x more likely to experience dental trauma. 

There are a number of different types of mouthguards available. 

  • Off-the-shelf mouthguards – These mouthguards consist of a piece of durable, soft plastic that’s shaped to fit around your child’s teeth to protect them, but is not fitted to their teeth. Because of this, they tend to be loose and uncomfortable.

  • Boil and bite mouthguards – This type of mouthguard is made of a type of plastic that becomes soft and pliable when heated. After you put it in some hot water, your child will put the mouthguard in their mouth, bite down, and shape the heated mouthguard. This creates an imprint of their bite and fits the mouthguard to their teeth.

  • Custom mouthguards – Custom mouthguards are made by a dentist. They provide superior protection, because they are made of more durable materials and fit more closely onto your child’s teeth and gums.

Stock mouthguards provide the least overall protection, followed by boil and bite mouthguards and then custom mouthguards. 

However, any type of mouthguard is much better than wearing no mouthguard, even stock mouthguards that are not fitted to your child’s mouth at all. 

What Should I Do If My Child Is Hit In the Mouth While Playing Sports?

Even if they’re wearing a mouthguard, your child could experience some oral trauma when playing contact sports if they’re hit by another child, if a ball or other object strikes their mouth, and in many other situations during athletic activities.

The first thing you should do is check in with your child to determine if they’re experiencing a lot of pain, or if their mouth is bleeding. If they are not experiencing pain or bleeding, and they feel okay after a few minutes, you probably don’t have to see the dentist, and your child may even be able to keep playing their sport. 

However, if your child is very shaken up, their mouth hurts, and you see significant bleeding and think that one or more of their teeth may be damaged, you should pull them out of the game or practice and contact Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry right away at (281) 461-7470 for an appointment with Dr. Jason Brock.

Even if they are not suffering from a major injury like a loose or cracked tooth, getting dental care can ensure your child’s mouth is healthy and give them relief from their pain and discomfort. We’re always accepting same-day appointments in Houston and the surrounding areas. 

Get a Custom Mouthguard From Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry to Protect Your Child

Custom-fitted mouthguards provide superior protection and better overall comfort compared to off-the-shelf mouthguards. If you’d like to protect your child’s mouth with a custom athletic mouthguard, don’t wait. 

Contact Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry online or call us at (281) 461-7470 right away to schedule an appointment with your child or teen. The process of fitting your child for an athletic mouthguard is quick and easy, and you can get started right away.

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