Protect Your Smile By Wearing A Mouth Guard When Playing Sports

[custom_frame_right shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_right] SCOTTSBLUFF, NEBRASKA—Childhood Injury Prevention Week was Sept. 1-7, but our quest to educate others on this important topic doesn’t end now that the weeklong observation is over.

Your teeth need to last a lifetime, so if you have a child involved in contact sports, we can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a mouth guard.

“Having a mouth guard that fits properly protects your teeth, jaws and soft tissue in the event of a severe blow to the face,” says Scottsbluff dentist Dr. Gary Cheloha. “A mouth guard can even help protect against concussions. This goes for children and adults.”

Children as young as age 5 account for more than half of the seven million sports- and recreation-related injuries reported annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2011, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation predicted that more than three million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events.

What’s even more disturbing is that in a survey commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists, 67 percent of parents admitted that their children don’t wear a mouth guard during organized sports, according to an American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry press release.

“That’s a troubling number that we would like to improve upon,” Dr. Cheloha says.

San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson reminds his young patients that getting fitted for a custom mouth guard is much less costly than undergoing a cosmetic procedure to repair teeth that have been broken or knocked out by a blow to the face. We here at Monument Smiles couldn’t agree more.

Mouth guards can be the most affordable pieces of protective equipment on the market today.

Here’s some important information to keep in mind when purchasing a mouth guard for your child:

  • Most dentists and orthodontists can fit your child for a custom-made mouth guard.
  • A mouth guard that fits well should allow your child to speak and not interfere with his/her breathing.
  • If your child is still growing, the same mouth guard may not fit season to season.

“We recommend having your child evaluated by a dental professional before the season starts to ensure the mouth guard still fits properly and provides adequate protection,” Dr. Cheloha says.