Should all Kids that Play Sports Wear a Mouthguard?

sports guards

San Francisco and Marin CA

It’s sports season! Kids are getting ready to gear up and head out on the field. But wait! Does that mean children playing any type of sport need a mouth guard? Whether they play soccer, baseball, football, or basketball, your child increases their injury risks when physically active, especially in competitive play. Therefore, protecting your child’s oral health when playing sports is crucial. Fortunately, our Bay Area pediatric dentists at Glen Park Dental share more information about mouth guards, how they protect your child’s mouth, and how to care for them so they last longer.

Can I buy a mouth guard at a sports supply store?

In short, yes. However, many mouth guards are manufactured for a wide variety of mouth sizes that may or may not fit your child’s teeth appropriately, leaving room for possible damage. Our Oakland family dentists explain that store-bought mouth guards often fail to snugly fit around teeth and, therefore, could result in oral damage, even when wearing one. Fortunately, Glen Park Dental offers custom-made mouth guards. These mouthguards are made from impressions of your teeth, which provides a comfortable and effective fit. With a proper fit, your child can protect their teeth, mouth, and tongue in case of an accident with another player or sports equipment.

How does a mouth guard protect my child’s oral health?

The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries states that dental injuries are most common among young people who participate in a contact sport. Unfortunately, most cases result in a partially or completely fractured tooth or displacement from the socket. Our San Francisco children’s dentists explain that sports-related dental injuries typically result in a visit to the emergency dentist and could lead to tooth loss. Not only is the treatment costly, but it can increase your child’s risk of oral health problems in the future.

How can I ensure my child can use the mouthguard all season?

At Glen Park Dental, we understand the financial commitment involved in signing children up for sports and purchasing the necessary equipment to participate. Your child’s mouth guard can last them the whole season when your child follows a few basic instructions as outlined by our Marin pediatric dentists below.

  • Clean

It’s vital to keep the appliance clean to prevent bacterial, fungi, and virus development or growth. So, after removing the appliance, your child should rinse their mouth guard with water and brush it with a soft toothbrush. Then, allow your child’s mouth guard to air dry on a clean surface for about 30 minutes to help prevent bacterial growth. Our Bay Area children’s dentists advise soaking the mouth guard once a week in a dental cleaning solution to ensure cleanliness.

  • Protect

Protecting your child’s mouth guard between uses can extend its lifespan and reduce your expenses. For example, after your child cleans their mouth guard, they should store it in the case once dry. The mouth guard case protects the guard from breakage and bacteria that could develop if it’s left on the bathroom counter or tumbling around in your child’s gym bag. Our Oakland pediatric dentists also recommend cleaning the case every few days and allowing it to air dry to prevent viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungal development. Never store the mouth guard in the car or in direct sunlight.

  • Replace

Mouth guards are not indestructible sports equipment. With continuous wear, mouth guards can deteriorate or suffer damage, especially when treated carelessly. Unfortunately, a mouth guard with sharp, rough, or broken edges can fail to provide protection during an accident and may cause additional problems. Therefore, our Marin children’s dentists advise parents to replace the mouth guard when it fails to fit their child properly or shows wear and tear signs.

Pediatric Dentists in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California

Protecting your child’s oral health when they play a contact sport is vital to the look and health of their smile. Therefore, our San Francisco pediatric dentists at Glen Park Dental recommend a mouth guard for children who play sports. Before your child hits the field, protect their smile by scheduling an appointment to get a mouth guard today. Please call our office at (415) 585-1500 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.