Mouthguards are essential for any child who participates in sports. They fit over the teeth and protect the mouth and surrounding areas from traumatic injuries. Many kids' dentistry practices treat children with dental injuries that could have been prevented had they been wearing protective mouth guards. Here are some of the benefits of mouthguards and the types of mouth guards your child's pediatric dentist may recommend.
Protection Against Numerous Injuries
While mouthguards are commonly known for protecting kids against dental injuries, they can also blunt the traumatic effects of facial and mouth blows, which can help prevent jaw fractures, cheek fractures, lip and tongue lacerations, and even neck injuries. Mouthguards may also help protect tooth damage in kids with bruxism. Also known as tooth grinding, bruxism can damage the enamel of the teeth and may even cause the teeth to crack or break.
Forceful tooth grinding may also cause your child to accidentally bite the insides of his or her cheeks. Inner cheek wounds are painful and can become infected if not treated quickly. Depending on your child's age, dental status, and bruxism history, the pediatric dentist may not only recommend that the patient wear a mouthguard when playing sports or engaging in other potentially dangerous activities, but also when sleeping.
Mouth Guard Types
The most commonly worn mouth guards are those that can be purchased at the drug store or sporting good store. They usually fit everyone and are reasonably priced. While these types of mouthguards are the most common, they don't provide as much protection as other types. They can also impair your child's ability to speak and breath properly, and may be the least comfortable.
Your child's dentist may recommend custom-made mouthguards because they provide the most protection. After making an impression of the patient's teeth, the mouth guard is then made. Although custom-made mouthguards are costlier, they fit better and are more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. If your child is going to need a mouth guard for an upcoming sporting event, be sure to talk to the dentist to find out how long it will take to make a customized appliance because they can take up to a few weeks.
To learn more about mouthguards, talk to your child's dentist. He or she will answer all of your questions and address your concerns regarding mouthguards. It is important to note, that most schools require that all children participating in sportswear mouth guards. Your dentist will help you decide if a store-bought mouth guard will suit your child's sports needs or if a custom-made mouthguard should be worn. Contact a dentist like William E Kemper DMD to learn more.