Spring is finally here, and April is National Facial Protection Month. This is a time to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the face during contact sports and high-impact recreational activities. With spring sports in full swing, it’s important to remember that accidents can and often do happen, leaving behind dental injuries. That’s why it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to protect your child’s teeth and mouth when they are actively engaged in sports.
One of the most effective ways to prevent dental injuries is by wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards are protective devices that cover the teeth and gums to prevent facial damage from impact. They’re typically used in sports like football, hockey, and lacrosse, but they can also be useful in activities such as skateboarding, skiing, and biking.
It’s especially important for children to wear mouthguards during physical activity. According to the American Dental Association, injuries to the mouth are the number one orofacial injury when engaging in sports. In fact, athletes who don’t wear mouthguards turn out to be 60 times more susceptible to incurring dental injuries than those who safeguard their smiles.
Pediatric dentistry emphasizes the importance of starting good oral health habits early in life. As a parent, it’s important to teach your child about the benefits of wearing a mouthguard and to make sure they wear one during sports and other physical activities. You can also talk to our pediatric dentist about getting a custom-fitted mouthguard that will provide the best protection for your child’s developing teeth and gums.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards: These are pre-made and come in small, medium, and large sizes.
- Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These are customized by boiling them in water and then biting down on them to create a custom-tailored fit.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards: These mouthguards are crafted by a dentist, providing the most protection and comfort out of all the types of mouthguards on the market today.
While all types of mouthguards offer some level of protection, custom-fitted mouthguards are the best option for children and teens who play contact sports regularly. Custom-fitted mouthguards are made from an impression of the teeth, which ensures a snug fit that won’t slip or fall out during physical activity. They’re also more comfortable than other types of mouthguards, which means that children are more likely to wear them during sports and other activities.
In addition to wearing a mouthguard, there are other ways to prevent dental injuries during physical activity. One important step is to wear a helmet if the activity involves the possibility of head injury. Helmets are essential for sports such as football, hockey, and biking, and they can also be useful in activities such as skateboarding and skiing.
It’s also important to make sure that children are properly supervised during physical activity. An adult should be present to monitor all the actions and make sure that children are following the rules and using proper safety equipment for everyone’s safety.
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April is National Facial Protection Month, but protecting your child’s teeth and mouth is important all year round. By wearing a mouthguard and taking other precautions, you can help your child prevent dental injuries and ensure that their smile stays healthy and strong. Talk to our pediatric dentist today to learn more about the benefits of mouthguards and other ways to protect your child’s teeth and gums during physical activity. We are always here to help your child’s growing smile needs!