Children are seen playing football and wearing mouth guards.

Why Should Your Child Wear a Mouthguard?

If your child participates in organised support, dentists recommend they wear a mouth guard to protect their mouths from sports-related accidents or injuries.

An injury can occur more easily than you might think, especially to their top, front teeth. Since these teeth protrude slightly outward from the rest of your teeth, an impact is more likely to affect them more than other teeth. This can have an impact on your child’s speech, smile and ability to eat and chew. A traumatic tooth injury may also never heal properly, and can lead to long-term and expensive dental problems.

Fortunately, mouth guards can help protect your child’s teeth by cushioning any impact to the mouth and reducing the risk of broken teeth.

When Should Your Child Wear a Mouth Guard?

According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Therefore, a mouth guard should be an integral part of your child’s athletic gear, especially if they play a contact or collision sport.

In fact, both adults and children should wear mouth guards while playing the following contact and non-contact sports or recreational activities:

  • Boxing
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Field hockey
  • Racquetball
  • Lacrosse
  • Ice hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Mountain biking
  • Skating
  • Martial arts
  • Surfing
  • Skiing
  • Skateboarding
  • Weight lifting
  • Water polo

How Mouth Guards Protect Your Teeth

Mouth guards are designed to protect your upper teeth, lips, jaw, tongue, face and inner cheeks. This protection limits the risk of injury to your mouth and teeth. For example, preventing broken or chipped teeth, tooth loss, or nerve damage to your teeth.

Wearing a mouth guard can also help protect your child’s braces or other orthodontic work. You run the risk of damaging the brackets or the entire orthodontic appliance if you play sport without a mouth guard. Mouth guards also help avoid cheek or gum injuries by providing a barrier between your child’s braces and their lips or cheeks.

It may get some getting used to, but if worn regularly, mouth guards will soon feel comfortable and you will feel better and more protected for wearing one.

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