The Importance of Mouthguards in Youth Sports

As a dental office that treats hundreds of emergency cases per year, it’s easy for us to see the importance of mouthguards in youth sports. Unfortunately many parents, and many sports organizations don’t necessarily see the see the need for them, require them, or even encourage them. Helmets, goggles, and knee pads are a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your kids’ in most sports. We’re taking the initiative to spread the word on the importance of mouthguards in youth sports in hopes to prevent future oral injuries

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 1/3 of all dental emergencies are sports related, and more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouthguard and over Mouthguards help prevent chipped, broken, and knocked out teeth. They protect your child’s lips, tongue, face, and also help redistribute forces from a blow to the head. While a mouthguard won’t prevent a concussion, it can reduce the severity of the injury.

“My performance mouth piece has taking my training to a whole other level.”

— Val Barnaby of E.S.S.A Sports Training

 

Types of Mouthguards

  • Pre-formed mouth protectors can be found at sporting good stores and are generic for all users. They typically cost under $15, but you get what you pay for. It’s difficult for kids to speak, they’re bulky and are not the best form of oral protection in sports.
  • Boil and bite mouth protectors can also be purchased at sporting goods stores. They are softened in hot water and then placed in the mouth to shape to the teeth. This is a middle of the road option, a step above generic mouthguards, but not the best case scenario.
  • Ideally you’d want to choose a custom-fit mouthguard, they are made unique for each person using special materials in a dental office. These mouthguards are more expensive than the others, but they provide the most comfort and protection. At all in the Family Dental Care, we are an Authorized Provider of the Under Armour, Armourbite Technology Mouthguards which are made personally for each user.

The Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece is designed to give non-contact sports players an advantage on their opponents. Using Under Armour’s patented Power Wedges™ Technology, this mouthpiece reverses the performance-sapping effects of teeth clinching by optimally spacing the teeth and the jaw. The low-profile design delivers superior comfort and has minimal impact on your speech for effective player communication during the game. The UA mouthpiece helps improve strength, endurance and reaction time.

When Should Mouthguards Be Used

Experts recommend that mouthguards be worn by athletes in competitive and recreational sports in which impact, contact and collision are likely to occur. The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. Some dental experts include baseball and softball infielders on that list. It’s recommended that the mouthguard be worn during both practices and competitions/games.