With summer in full swing, many parents have children who are involved in seasonal sports or other activities. For those parents of children playing any form of contact or semi-contact sport, or even certain other activities where risks may be present to the head or mouth, one important dental area is a worthwhile consideration: Mouthguard use.
At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, one of our top pediatric dental service areas is in the realm of preventive care. Many oral issue risks can be limited or even eliminated through proper preparation, and while this usually refers to areas like cavity prevention, braces and others found in our offices, this area extends to concerns like sports mouthguards as well. Let’s take a look at how mouthguards protect your child’s developing mouth during activity, plus a variety of sports where you might consider purchasing them a mouthguard.
Sports and Mouthguard Use
If you’ve played any form of contact or aggressive sport before, you’ll know the value of a mouthguard. Contact is pretty common in several sports, and in others, risks of flying projectiles also exist – cushioning the head and mouth with a mouthguard will protect not only the teeth of the wearer, but also the tongue, jaw structure, and overall head safety (including limiting concussion risks during major impacts).
When it comes to purchasing a mouthguard, you have a few options. You can always purchase basic sports mouthguards at many local stores or online, though these are limited in terms of size ranges and may not always fit your child’s mouth perfectly, even as they do offer basic protection. For optimal fit and comfort, there are custom mouthguard companies out there, and you can also consult with your dentist about custom-molding a mouthguard in our offices.
Common Sport and Activity Types
A few of the heaviest sports might be somewhat obvious when it comes to mouthguard use, but many parents aren’t aware of several other activities where such use can be highly beneficial. Here are several areas to keep track of:
- Team sports: Some of the more obvious options we’re referring to include major team sports, such as football, hockey or basketball. However, other sports like baseball, softball, soccer or any where contact with opponents or projectiles could all be worth wearing a mouthguard during.
- Wheel sports: Whether we’re talking biking, skateboarding, roller-blading or other related activities, a single fall can be extremely damaging to the head and mouth if a helmet and mouthguard alike are not being worn.
- Water sports: While a mouthguard likely isn’t necessary for solo lap swimming, those playing water polo absolutely must wear one. In addition, anyone who surfs, water skis or takes part in other aggressive water activities may consider wearing a mouthguard in case of collision.
- Court games: While wearing a mouthguard during tennis is an area some are on the fence about, one related area we highly recommend mouthguard usage during is racquetball or squash. These sports feature closer confines and greater risk of being struck by a ball or racket.
For more on the value of mouthguards during summer activities, or to learn about any of our cleanings, dental X-rays or any of our other pediatric dental services, contact the offices of Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.