Schools are in session and football season is gearing up. It is an exciting time for sports enthusiasts, especially since last year was a bust due to the pandemic. As student athletes return to sports, it is important to make sure they have effective protective gear, including mouthguards to protect their teeth.
Mouth trauma incidents are so prevalent among the nation’s youth that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) developed a policy on the prevention of sports-related orofacial injuries. The policy was written to educate athletic and educational personnel as well as dental professionals and health care providers about the importance of preventing these types of injuries.
High Risk Sports
Football is obviously one of the riskiest sports when it comes to injuries; however, the sport requires helmets and mouthguards, which lowers the rate of traumatic mouth injuries. Ice hockey and lacrosse also require protective equipment. Consequently, the risks are significantly lower with these sports.
Other sports are not so well regulated. Baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics are all sports in which participants can sustain a mouth injury. Of these, baseball and basketball have the highest rate of sports-related mouth trauma for students ages 7-17. In the 7–12-year-old range, baseball accounted for the most dental injuries. Basketball was highest with these injuries in the 13–17-year-old age group. Leisure activities such as roller skating, bicycling, skateboarding can also benefit from protective gear. Bicycles are the most common sports product related to dental injuries in children.
Reducing Dental Trauma
The vast majority of sports-related dental injuries occur in youth. Many of these injuries could be avoided with the use of a custom-made mouth guard. There are over-the-counter mouthguards available, and some protection is better than none at all; however, the custom-made mouthguard is the superior product.
Custom made mouth guards are constructed to the exact fit of your child’s mouth. Professionally fitted and checked by your child’s dentist, the custom made mouthguard provides protection for the teeth and gums while offering a comfortable fit. The fit is very important. Ill fitting mouthguards can cause problems with the teeth. Additionally, if the mouthguard does not fit right, your child may not wear it properly or at all.
For excellent custom made mouth guards, contact Dr. Scott Babin. We help keep your student athlete’s smile healthy and protected. Make an appointment today for a checkup and mouthguard.
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