With the start of the school year approaching faster than your kids might like, it’s also time to get ready for another year’s worth of sports, too. That begs the question, which of these athletes should be wearing an athletic mouthguard?
- Basketball players
- Football players
- Volleyball players
Mouthguards are required for football, but dental professionals recommend wearing a mouthguard for all of these athletes and many others. You can get a custom-made mouthguard at Panama City Smiles, right here in Panama City, FL.
To make an appointment, call us 850-588-0185.
Do Your Kids Need Mouthguards?
Before you decide if your child should be wearing a mouthguard during practices and games, ask yourself some questions.
- Does this sport include jumping?
- Does this sport include changes in speed and/or direction?
- Does this sport involve trying to catch or throw an object (e.g. a ball or puck)?
- Does this sport include physical contact between participants?
If you answered yes to any one of those questions, then your child should have a mouthguard, according to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry among other professional dental organizations.
You may not be aware that baseball (among kids 13 and younger) and basketball (among athletes 17 and younger) are the sports most likely to cause dental injuries. It’s also worth pointing out that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries compared to those who do.
It’s better to wear a mouthguard than no mouthguard at all (in most instances), but not all mouthguards are the same. The ADA and AAPD recommend custom-fitted mouthguards, which we can make for you.
Custom mouthguards provide better protection than the boil-and-bite style mouthguards you can find in stores. You could compare the boil-and-bite mouthguard to seat belts in your family vehicle, while custom mouthguards are more like the five-point harnesses used by professional drivers.
Custom mouthguards also are smaller than the over-the-counter versions. This can make them more comfortable — and therefore more likely to be worn.
Care For Your Mouthguard & Your Smile
While the right mouthguard can greatly reduce your risk of injury, it’s important to care for your mouthguard correctly as well.
This means cleaning it before and after using it. Storing it in a hard container with holes, which allows it to dry mouth. You also should avoid keeping your mouthguard in a hot place.
You also should not chew on your mouthguard. This can cause tears to form with weaken the mouthguard and make it less effective. Last but not least, you should check your mouthguard for wear and tear each time you use it.
Play Hard & Stay Safe
When athletes step on the field or the court for a practice or a game, they understand accidents and injuries are possible. It’s why many sports require special protective gear, and it’s why the ADA and AAPD recommend athletic mouthguards for most athletes.