This is a collaborative post.
As a parent, you want to encourage your children into taking part in sports and physical activities for their health, and simply because playing sports can be a lot of fun! However, depending on the type of sport your child wants to play, you will need to ensure that they have the right protective clothing and equipment to help keep them safe and protected.
While it is not uncommon for parents to spend money on appropriate kit such as shin pads, knee pads, helmets and face guards, depending on the risks of injury associated with the sport, they may often question why there is a need for a mouth guard.
In most cases mouth guards are not required for every single type of sport played by your child, so it can be easy for a parent to simply forget about this important little piece of safety equipment. However, whether your child plays a full-contact sport or not, there are still over 3 million teeth knocked out each year while kids play sport or some form or another.
Risky sports for dental health
It is not just sports such as hockey, cricket or rugby that you may well associate with a higher risk of tooth loss from injury that will send worried parents to their dentist to fix. Accidental damage can happen while playing just about any sport. Teeth can be chipped, broken and knocked out through playing other sports such as tennis and even a simple game of school rounders.
There are a lot of accounts of teeth being damaged while playing football where a child is hit in the face with a football, or slips and falls while playing and gets accidentally kicked or elbowed in the mouth. Wearing a mouth guard can not only help protect your children’s teeth from direct impact damage, but can also help to protect the soft tissues of their mouth including their lips, gums and tongue from injury.
What is the best age to wear a mouth guard?
Children aged from around 7 to 12 or 13 would benefit from wearing mouth guards while playing sports. Between this age is when most of your child’s oral development will be taking place. Protecting your child’s teeth from damage at this age will help to prevent any lasting issues developing in future.
According to dental data reports, children are seeing their dentists to treat injuries and damage to their teeth as a result of playing the following sports: basketball, hockey, baseball, rugby, football, and lacrosse. However, there are also increasing numbers of children reporting dental injuries sustained during recreational activities such as skateboarding, mountain biking and or climbing. All children taking part in these activities can benefit greatly from wearing mouth guards.
Mouth guard wear and braces
It is at around the ages of 11 to 13 that a lot of children will be fitted for dental braces. Mouth guards can be worn at the same time as your child wears braces, and also can help to reduce the damage to your child’s braces should an accident happen. Mouth guards can help reduce the impact of an accident on the brackets of their braces and help to protect the soft tissues from damage.
It would be advisable to get your child’s braces checked over by your dentist should they experience a sporting accident or impact to their face or mouth. It can put your mind at rest that everything is OK and no lasting damage has been done.