Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta


Mouthguard for Your Child

Participating in athletic activities offers children numerous health benefits and valuable life lessons. However, with these advantages comes the risk of injury, including dental injuries. This doesn’t mean children should avoid sports, but rather, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take preventive measures.

Sports-related dental injuries are surprisingly common. In 2012, it was predicted that over 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sports alone. A significant portion of dental injuries in children, over 25%, are attributed to sports, often affecting the upper front teeth. Beyond the immediate harm, these injuries can lead to missed school days, work, and could incur costs up to $20,000 over a lifetime for a single lost permanent tooth. A simple, cost-effective solution to mitigate these risks is the use of a properly fitted mouthguard during any sporting activity that poses a risk to the mouth and face.

The Importance of Proper Equipment

Just as protective gear like helmets are non-negotiable in sports like football, mouthguards play a crucial role in preventing facial and dental injuries. Interestingly, injuries to the mouth or face are 15 times more likely in basketball than football, largely due to the higher usage of mouthguards in football. Currently, mouthguards are mandatory in only four school sports: football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, basketball and baseball see the highest number of dental injuries. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends mouthguards for activities like bicycling, soccer, skateboarding, wrestling, and volleyball, which can help prevent more than 200,000 injuries annually.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard

The effectiveness of a mouthguard largely depends on its proper use during both practice and games. Mouthguards vary in type:

  • Off-the-shelf mouthguards offer basic protection but may be uncomfortable, making it hard to breathe and speak.
  • “Boil and bite” mouthguards provide a better fit by molding to the child’s mouth but might not cover all teeth adequately or comfortably.
  • Custom-made mouthguards are designed specifically for your child’s mouth, providing optimal protection and comfort. Made from high-quality materials, these mouthguards ensure maximum safety and are a wise investment compared to other expensive sports equipment.

Investing in a professionally made, custom-fitted mouthguard is a sensible decision to protect your child from sports-related dental injuries. Feel free to discuss this option with us for the safety and well-being of your young athlete.