Dental Injuries in Children’s Sports
Data collected by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows that 22,000 cases of sports-related dental trauma occur annually in children under 18. Mouthguard usage is mandatory for a small number of school-sanctioned contact sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse. Yet, baseball and basketball account for the highest incidence of dental injuries in children ages 7 to 17.
Types of Mouthguards
Pre-formed: Ready-to-wear mouthguards that are becoming less common and are usually bulky and ill-fitting. They make breathing more difficult, provide less protection than the other options, and make communication difficult.
Boil and Bite: Thermoplastic boil and bite mouthguards are widely available. The mouthguard is placed in hot water so that it becomes pliable and is then placed into the child’s mouth to form around their teeth. Function, fit, and communication are usually better than pre-formed mouth guards. This option is often recommended for children who are in transitional dentition with both baby teeth and permanent teeth present.
Custom: A custom mouthguard is made by taking an impression of the child’s teeth than using a special machine to fit a pliable material over the mold. These mouthguards are the most comfortable and protective. Custom mouthguards are less likely to shift and allow more effective communication than the other options. Kids Dental can design custom mouthguards for your young athlete.
A properly fitting mouthguard should:
- Securely cover all upper tooth surfaces
- Not be easily dislodged
- Allow the child to breathe easily
- Allow effective communication
Interested in an athletic mouthguard for your child? Contact Kids Dental for an in-office consultation!