Should my child wear a mouthguard?
Ask your dentist about a mouthguard for your child to protect their teeth and to protect parents from unnecessary dental bills! When people hear the word “mouthguard,” they immediately think of sports like football on top of the list. However, aside from football, everyone playing any contact sport should wear a mouthguard for safety and protection.
Mouthguards or mouth protectors are placed in one’s mouth to cushion a blow directed to the face. These protective pieces mostly cover the upper teeth and protect the lips, cheek, and tongue lining’s soft tissues. Hence, mouthguards are often worn during sports. When a player wears a mouthguard whilst playing sport, the risk of picking up an injury to the lips, teeth and tongue is minimised greatly. If you are uncertain then speak to a specialist children’s dentist.
Which mouthguard is right for your child?
There is no one-size-fits-all mouthguard for children and your dentist will be able to advise you of what is best for your child’s teeth. There are various types of mouthguards depending on the need, use, and price. Before buying one, you should book a dental consultation with your child’s dentist and get to understand what type of mouthguard is right for them.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards
This type of mouthguard is what you often find in sports stores. They are better than the ready-made ones when it comes to fit. This type is called Boil and Bite because you have to soften the first in a hot, boiling water before inserting them into your child’s mouth and letting it adapt to their mouth and teeth’s shape.
- Ready-Made Mouthguards
As the name implies, ready-made mouthguards are ready to wear since they are pre-formed. They are cheaper and easy to put in. However, since they are pre-formed, they are less secure because they are not shaped according to your child’s teeth and mouth.
- Custom-Fit Mouthguards
Perhaps the best type of mouthguard, custom-fit mouthguard is the one created by the dentist to fit your child’s needs and provide them with maximum comfort.
How to give your child’s mouthguards a long life
Since mouthguards are put in and taken out of your child’s mouth, it is crucial to take good care of them and keep them safe. Your child’s dentist will be able to give you exact instructions of how to care for the specific product, and here are a few basic things that you can do with mouthguards regularly:
- Before and after your child uses their mouthguard, rinse it and clean with cool water and a little antibacterial soap. Make sure that you completely rinse it and have it dried before storage or use.
- Place the mouthguard in a sturdy and clean container, especially when transporting, to ensure that there is no bacterial growth.
- During your child’s regular checkups with their dentist, make sure you bring their mouthguard as well for its own checkup. This way, you are sure that it still fits your child perfectly and that it is in good condition.
Accidents and injuries cannot be avoided, especially for active kids participating in contact sports, but some of them can be prevented. Your dentist can recommend a mouthguard product for your child to use to prevent broken or chipped teeth, mouth, and tongue injuries.
Oral health is not just about what’s inside one’s mouth; safety is also a part of oral health. Aim to always protect your child’s mouth and the parts around it to prevent having surprise visits to the dentist and unnecessary dental repairs. Make sure that your child brushes their teeth, flosses, and visits the dentist regularly.