As summer draws to a close, the school year is upon us. With that, comes sports season!

Parents are purchasing uniforms, helmets, athletic shoes, and special padding that is designed to protect a child while playing contact sports. But there is one piece of protective equipment that is commonly forgotten – the mouth guard.

According to Dr. Reynolds of Richmond Pediatric Dentistry, “It’s very heartbreaking, as a dentist, to see injured, broken teeth that could have been prevented.” As a parent, it is critical to do everything in your ability to protect your child. If your child engages in any sporting activity that could result in contact with others – whether it is full-contact or semi-contact – it is important to have a mouthguard that offers full protection of all of their teeth.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth with a Mouthguard for Sports

Essentially, there are two main components to ensuring the proper protection of your child’s healthy smile. The first is a highly-reliable helmet that fits appropriately. The second is a mouthguard.

A helmet is a standard level of protection that must be worn to engage in sporting activities. But parent often forget the mouthguard. Not only should these components be worn during sporting events, but, they should also be worn during practice.

According to statistics, athletes (regardless of age) are 60 times more likely to suffer from injuries to their teeth and/or jaw when they fail to ensure the proper placement of a mouthguard. Research indicates that these protective pieces help to prevent well over 200,000 injuries on an annual basis. Despite these astounding figures, only about 36% of all school-aged athletes wear these protective mouth devices.

One of the easiest types of mouthguards currently available on the market is the boil-to-fit model.

They are warmed and then placed in the child’s mouth. The guard must remain in the mouth for a pre-designated amount of time. During that time, it will conform to fit snugly within the child’s mouth to match their unique oral characteristics.

These are ideal for younger children.

As the child grows, it is best to visit a dentist to obtain a professional-level customized mouthguard. In most instances, dentists will have mouthguards in an assortment of custom colors. This makes the child more enthusiastic about wearing the pieces.

Protecting your child is a given. If your child engages in contact or semi-contact sports, protecting their smile is a must. Why take the risk of your child becoming another statistic in the form of an injured or lost tooth when you can avoid all of that with a mouthguard?

When you place a mouthguard in your child’s mouth, be certain that they are not wearing them like Stef Curry, the MVP of the Golden State Warriors – halfway in the mouth, halfway out. While it is true that your child is a “pro” in their own right, they require the fullest level of protection possible.

In the words of Dr. Jack Reynolds of Richmond Pediatric Dentistry, “Think preventive dentistry. Think protection. Think saving teeth.”