Why Are Mouth Guards Important For Our Young Athletes?

We usually think of mouth guards for our school ages athletes as something only necessary for football and hockey, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a sports mouth guard for all your competition, regardless of age and the American Dental Association recommends mouth guards for the following sports.

Acrobatics

Football

Martial Arts

Skiing

Volleyball

Basketball

Gymnastics

Racquetball

Skydiving

Water Polo

Boxing

Handball

Rugby

Soccer

Weight Lifting

Discus Throwing

Ice Hockey

Shot Putting

Squash

Wrestling

Field Hockey

Lacrosse

Skateboarding

Surfing

 

The reason for this is that Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports and about 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Recent studies have also indicated that oral and facial injuries to female athletes exceed those in males and roughly three times as many mouth injuries occur on the basketball court as on the football field.

Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one found in sporting goods stores.

Custom mouth guards are made from exact and precise models of an individual’s own teeth; are made of resilient and tear resistant materials ensuring a proper fit; are comfortable, easy to clean, do not restrict breathing, and are of sufficient thickness in critical areas. It is advised for a child with braces so that the mouth guard won’t interfere with treatment.

Profession and college sports teams use a “thermoplastic” material (thermo-heat, plastic-moldable), usually EVA is adapted over the model with a vacuum machine; the mouth guard is then trimmed and polished to allow for proper tooth and gum adaptation. All back teeth should be covered and muscle attachments not impinged upon.

Magic Smiles Dental Care can provide a custom mouth guard for your young athlete that we form and manufacturer in our offices and have available for you the next day.