The participation of children in sports activities has increased dramatically over the years. While this growth is good as it shows the kids are staying more active, it also means that the incidents of sports-related injuries have also increased. The American Dental Association has reported that over 36 percent of children and adolescents are injured during sports, and of those injuries, almost 20 percent are related to the mouth.
According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) for Safety, the most common type of maxillofacial (mouth-related) injuries is dental. The NYSF report also revealed that an athlete without a mouth guard is at a 60 times higher risk of sustaining dental injuries.
Despite the increased risk, a survey carried by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) revealed that 67 percent of parents agreed that their kids wouldn’t wear protective mouth gear while participating in organized sports. These figures raise concerns as to why children aren’t wearing mouth guards despite being the simplest and the cheapest solution for dental protection.
Lack of Awareness Regarding Mouth Guards
Many people assume that mouthguards are only practical for sports like boxing, field hockey, football, ice skating, and basketball. However, in reality, mouth guards are beneficial for oral protection during non-contact sports and routine recreational activities such as gymnastics, skating, skateboarding, biking, etc.
How Will a Mouth Guard Benefit My Kid’s Dental Health?
According to estimation by The American Dental Association (ADA), wearing mouth guards can help prevent over 200,000 mouth-related injuries.
Sport-related dental injuries can lead to several dental issues such as chipped, crooked, or broken teeth, fractured jawbones, damaged crowns, veneers, or bridges, lip and cheek wounds, and swollen and bleeding gums. It can also damage the tooth enamel, roots, pulp inside the teeth, and gum tissues.
Tooth loss is another issue caused by forceful hits on the teeth during collision sports—including football, boxing, and cricket—and incidental contact sports, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, cricket, wrestling, and others.
Another high school study revealed that 75% of all sport-related injuries occurred in the absence of mouth guards—out of which 40% of oral injuries occurred during basketball and baseball.
What Type of Mouth Guard Is Best for My Kid?
There are several types of mouthguards that provide maximum protection to your child’s teeth and oral structure.
- Stock mouth protectors
- Boil and bite mouth protectors
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors
Typical mouth guards only protect the upper teeth. However, if your child has braces, Invisalign, crowns, veneers, fillings, or other dental fixtures, you may get a customized-fit mouth guard from reliable dentists in Woodland Hills. West Hills Smiles offers durable custom sports mouth guards and nightguards that provide maximum protection for your little one. Schedule an appointment with one of the best dentists in town today! For more information, call at (818) 346-4303.