Sports and Oral Health: How to Protect Your Child’s Smile

sports and oral health

Did you know that according to the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, sports-related oral injuries account for about 40% of all dental injuries in the US? At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we recommend sports mouthguards made for your child’s one-of-a-kind smile. We use the latest technology and the highest-quality materials to provide your young athlete with the best possible protection.

What Are Sports Mouthguards?

Sports mouthguards are protective oral appliances designed to cover your child’s teeth and gums, absorbing the forces of impact during sports activities. We highly recommend that any child involved in contact sports, like football, hockey, or basketball, wear a sports mouthguard for protection. The same applies to children involved in recreational activities that pose a risk for dental injuries, like skateboarding. 

Wearing a protective mouthguard during sports activities lowers the risk of chipping, breaking, or knocking out a tooth. It can also help prevent injury to the lips and cheeks and accidentally biting the tongue. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, young athletes are about 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries without protective mouthguards, often with long-term dental problems. 

What Are the Types of Mouthguards?

Here’s a look at the different types of mouthguards available for your child: 

Stock Mouthguards: Stock mouthguards are relatively inexpensive mouth protectors that come in different sizes, ready to wear. These preformed oral appliances don’t provide a custom fit and are usually bulky and dislodge more easily in the mouth. They often interfere with breathing and rarely offer adequate protection. For patients wearing braces however, these may be the only type that fit.

Boil and Bite Mouthguards: Boil and bite mouthguards provide a more personalized fit. First, you’ll place them in hot water and have your child bite down on them. Next, you’ll use your fingers to mold the material to the shape of your child’s teeth. Although boil and bite guards provide a better fit than their stock counterparts, they can still be bulky and uncomfortable, offering limited protection for your child’s smile. 

Custom-Fitted Mouthguards: Custom sports mouthguards are created using precise impressions of your child’s smile, providing an exceptional fit. They are fabricated using state-of-the-art technology and techniques from the highest-quality materials, providing superior comfort and function and the best possible protection. 

Sports Mouthguards Near Me in San Marcos, CA

At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we believe in prevention rather than treating sports-related dental injuries after they occur. We invite you to visit our San Marcos practice to learn more about safeguarding your young athlete’s smile with a sports mouthguard. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.” Call us at 760-798-2825 to schedule your little one’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!