Athletes, especially those who engage in sports where contact is inevitable, mouthguards are a necessity. Last year, Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Dental Association teamed up to approve the use of a Mouthguard Policy that sports clubs can sign up to. This entails the use of a mouthguard to avoid dental trauma that may occur from playing sports.
The same goes for children. Like athletes, children who are active in sports are susceptible to dental injuries. According to Dr Peter Alldritt, Chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee, “Dental injuries can result in time off school or work to recover, can be painful and disfiguring, may involve lengthy and complex dental treatment. The cost of an injury to the teeth or jaw far exceeds the cost of a mouthguard.”
But, dental injuries are not limited to sports. TotalCareDentistry.com.au says children can also sustain these from cycling, skateboarding and scooter riding, as they come into contact with hard surfaces such as asphalt and cement.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards available for both children and adults. Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and available in sporting goods stores. But, they are bulky, which makes talking and breathing difficult. Also, these provide the least amount of protection.
Boil and bite protectors are also available in sporting goods stores, and they fit better than stock mouthguards. These soften in hot water and then placed in the mouth where the finger can shape it around the teeth.
Custom-made mouthguards are the most effective as they are tear-resistant, comfortable and resilient. Among the three, these provide the most protection and comfort.
Common Types of Dental Injuries
Dental injuries come in various forms, including chips or fractures, dislocation, avulsed teeth, as well as split lips, tongue, cheeks and gums. Trauma is also a common injury. Without the proper mouthguard, it can lead to severe damage to the mouth.
If your child is into sports, they should get fit for a custom-made mouthguard. Preventing possible damages and injuries early on will surely benefit them.