Sometimes we may wish we could wrap our kids in bubble wrap to prevent them from injuries.
Unfortunately, this is not the most practical solution.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental injuries are common during contact sports such as football, boxing, ice hockey and lacrosse. Even non-contact sports like gymnastics and skating can result in injury to the mouth. Clearly, dental injuries can be upsetting to the patient and can be very costly to repair.
A well-fitting mouth guard has been shown to reduce the severity of injury or even prevent injuries from happening. They not only protect the teeth, cheeks, lips and tongue but can also help to guard against concussions. The overall risk of injury has been found to be 1.7-1.9 times greater when a mouth guard was not used according to the ADA. In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists found that 70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports, but 67 percent said their kids do not wear a mouth guard.
When should mouth guards be worn? The ADA recommends mouth guards for weightlifting, hockey, racquetball, volleyball, rugby, skateboard, figure skating, cheerleading, field hockey, softball, tennis, lacrosse, diving, fencing, boxing, wrestling, karate, motocross, hurdling, basketball, biking, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, football, skiing and inline skating. In essence, anytime you engage in any activity where your face could be injured, you should wear a mouth guard. Of course, it is also important to use other protective equipment like helmets, shin guards and protective eyewear when indicated.
There are mouth guards specially designed for those who are wearing braces. Typical “boil and bite” types cannot be used because they can cause the braces to be dislodged from the teeth. If we can help you to determine which type of mouth guard is best for you, please let us know.
Get out there and HAVE FUN, no bubble wrap required!
Video courtesy of the AAO