If your child is into sports, a good mouth guard is well worth the modest price when you realize how many headaches it could save you down the line.
Yet while we’re conscious to make sure our children have all the other forms of protective gear for their respective sports, we still need to do a better job at protecting their teeth. Consider these statistics:
- Last year the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimated that three million teeth would be knocked out as a result of youth sporting events.
- The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation also reported that those who play sports and don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth.
- Despite these stats, a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists found that 67 percent of parents confess that their kids do not wear protective mouth guards when they play organized sports.
- The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries per year.
Considering these numbers, it begs the question, “Why aren’t we doing more to protect our children from sports-related dental injuries?” Mouth guards, after all, are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. And the return on investment could be in the thousands of dollars when you take into account the dental costs to treat a knocked-out tooth.
When determining the best mouth guard, it’s important to try to get the best quality and fit possible – one that is durable and holds teeth in place, and allows for normal breathing and speech. It is possible for dental specialists to provide customized mouth guards, which undoubtedly provide the best fit. But there are other, less expensive options. These include “boil and bite” mouth guards, which are boiled first and then fitted into the mouth; and stock mouth guards – which are ready to wear but usually don’t provide the best fit.
Your family dentist can advise you about the best type of mouth guard to wear for every sports activity. And if you reside in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, we are all too happy to advise you on the best way to protect your child’s teeth from sports-related injuries. We would much rather see your children for regular check-ups than to treat them for fractured or broken teeth! But in case an emergency does occur, be sure to call us right away. Be sure to note our emergency number in case you need to call after hours.