What Youth Sport Has the Most Dental Injuries?
You might think that youth football or hockey generates the most injuries involving the mouth. After all they are both heavy contact sports both with other players and the ground or ice. But if you guessed either of those sports you would be wrong. For decades mouth guards have been mandated for kids playing those sports at the high school level and many younger leagues have followed suit.
What you may find surprising is that the sports with the most mouth injuries include baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, softball and gymnastics. Most pros in those sports don’t wear mouth guards and as a result kids don’t wear them either. That’s not good news.
Mouth guards, even cheap stock models can help prevent broken, cracked and lost teeth as well as jaw and joint fractures. Any of those injuries can be extremely painful and all of them are expensive to fix. Protecting your active kid from mouth injuries by insisting they wear a mouth guard while playing sports is an easy, inexpensive way to guard your kid from injury.
There are Mouth Guards and then there are Mouth Guards
Like all pieces of sporting equipment mouth guards come in different grades of quality and features. Here are the three most common:
- Stock mouth guards. These are plastic and come in small, medium and large. Aside from the fact that they may or may not fit your child’s mouth comfortably, they usually have a useful life of 2 or 3 weeks. Your child’s teeth will cut into the guard creating jagged edges which will then cut gums and lips. They are cheap but if your kid won’t wear them because they hurt you don’t get any protection.
- Boil and Bite. This is an attempt to customize a plastic guard. Hot water is run across the plastic to soften it and then the child bites into it. It’s an improvement but it is still not customized to the child’s mouth.
- Customized sports guards. These are what Dr. Pyle provides at our Weston dental practice. These guards are not only customized to the child’s teeth but to the width and shape of the mouth. They are by far the most durable and most comfortable. If your child has braces this is the way to go.
If you have an active child you want to make sure he/she has a mouth guard. If you want the most comfortable and most durable mouth guard, call us at our Weston dentist office and make an appointment for a fitting.