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The Importance of Protecting Your Child’s Smile with a  Mouthguard

February 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — canfieldbraces @ 6:15 am
a child holding a protective mouthguard

Playing sports is very beneficial for children. It not only encourages exercise but teaches them many skills, like teamwork, time management, and problem-solving. While extracurricular activities have so many positive aspects, you want to be sure to protect your child from any type of injury, including ones to their pearly whites. The National Youth Sports Foundation reports that an athlete is about 60 times more likely to end up with dental damage when they aren’t wearing a custom protective mouthguard. Read on to learn more about the importance and benefits of your child wearing one.

Why Are Mouthguards Important?

A mouthguard is an oral device that fits over the teeth to protect them. This small, u-shaped plastic guard is just as important as a helmet or padding when playing sports. They have a wide variety of purposes, including:

  • Prevent chipped, broken, and knocked-out teeth: Mouthguards shield the teeth if the face receives hard contact, helping keep them safe and in place.
  • Protect upper and lower teeth from each other: A mouthguard also creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, keeping them from crashing into each other on impact.
  • Minimize risk of dental concussion: Due to their shape, mouthguards helps redistribute the force of an impact, which can potentially prevent a dental concussion (a tooth loosened but not knocked out).
  • Shield the soft tissues from injury: A mouthguard not only protects the teeth, but also the lips, cheeks, and tongue from getting bitten or cut by the teeth during an impact.
  • Reduce the risk of concussion: Some studies show that wearing a mouthguard can lower the risk of developing a concussion during a sports injury.

What Are the Benefits of a Custom-Fit Mouthguard?

There are three types of mouthguards. First, there are the generic, ready-made mouthguards that you can get off the shelf at most sports retailers.  The second type is called boil-and-bite mouthguards, commonly found at pharmacies and athletic stores. They are fitted to the unique shape of the mouth. While both of these options are cost-effective and convenient, many experts believe that they don’t provide adequate protection for your child’s mouth. They also are likely to wear down and quickly become uncomfortable.

The alternative is a custom-fit mouthguard. Your dentist carefully crafts the guard to uniquely fit your little one’s smile. The benefits of a personalized mouthguard include:

  • Proper fit for added protection
  • Uniquely sized to reduce the bulky sensation
  • Maximum protection by separating the upper and lower jaw
  • Ideal thickness to handle impact
  • Reduces dental costs by protecting the teeth from trauma
  • Easier to speak and breathe when being worn
  • Comfortable fit (which encourages your child to wear it, rather than forget or lose it)

Your child benefits so much from playing sports, but you want to be sure their smile is safe and protected. Customized mouthguards are the key to helping them keep their pearly whites safe while enjoying their activities!

About the Author

Dr. Marissa Mikolich and her team at Mikolich Orthodontics are eager to help keep your child’s smile whole, healthy, and beautiful. She earned her doctoral degree in dentistry from  The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, as well as a Master of Science degree in oral biology from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. By using personalized plans and advanced dental technology, she provides a full range of services, including customized mouthguards. To schedule an appointment, contact her through her website or call (330) 967-4110.

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