Sports are part of growing up in America. Practically every kid participates in some sport. Sports are broadcast each and every week on television. We are bombarded with sports from around the world. Children are involved in sports leagues across the country.
While the number of children who participate in sports has increased, so have the number of injuries. The American Dental Association funded one study that revealed sports-related injuries affected 36% of those participating. Rather alarming, of the participants injured 20% suffered an injury to their oral cavity. If those percentages seem surprising, it is nothing compared to the raw numbers. Putting it another way: more than 25 million children play a sport of some kind in various programs all over the country.
Due to the injury rate being so high, the American Dental Association has recommended all people participating in sports wear a mouthguard during games and practices. This recommendation covers all contact sports. Some examples of contact sports are soccer, martial arts, lacrosse, ice hockey, football, field hockey, basketball, and skateboarding. It should be noted that those are only a few of the many contact sports.
Mouthguards are vital to protecting the oral cavity. Acting as shock absorbers, mouthguards help to protect not only the gums, lips, tongue, and teeth, but also the interior of the cheek from injury. Those patients needing more information concerning mouthguards are invited to come to our Artistic Dental office to find out more. There are various options available with mouthguards. We can measure your child’s mouth to discuss custom-fitted mouthguards, which are the best fitting. Come see us today.
At What Age Should Mouthguards Be Worn?
The American Dental Association has issued several recommendations regarding the use of mouthguards. They suggest mouth guards be worn for anyone seven years old or older who participates in either recreational or competitive sports. When worn, mouthguards lower the chances of the upper and lower teeth suffering an injury.
Reasons to Wear a Mouthguard
The surprising fact is the majority of sports injuries affecting the mouth can be easily avoided by doing one thing - wearing a mouthguard.
Some of the injuries a mouthguard can prevent include a chipped tooth, a fractured tooth, or even having a tooth completely knocked out. While those injuries are readily seen, some injuries are not. The tooth root can be damaged below the gumline and remain hidden from view. Jawbones can also be damaged. When this happens, the stability of the patient’s oral cavity can be impacted. Sometimes, teeth can become partially extruded, which means the tooth is still in the socket but is in a different position. This is typically noticed when the tooth appears to be shorter than the rest.
When patients begin wearing mouthguards, it is important to make sure they fit properly.
Mouthguards are designed to fit securely in the mouth so they will not rub soft tissues raw. Parents who have questions about mouthguards and would like to more should come see us at our Artistic Dental office or give us a call at (848) 222-3984.