• March 1, 2017

What is your child’s smile worth? We ask this knowing it’s not a fair question. There is no way to be a price on the value of seeing your children smile. It’s one of the greatest joys of parenting.

It’s why you have already taught your children the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth. This will help fight bacteria and plaque, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and worse.

You’ve also probably explained the importance of professional dental cleanings, like we offer at our dentist office in Ortonville, MI.

But there’s one more thing we want to encourage you to do. Make sure your children wear athletic mouthguards whenever they are participating in high-impact sports.

To help, we can create custom-made mouthguards here at Brandon Family Dental. Just call 248-469-0218 to make an appointment.


What Do We Mean By High-Impact Sport?

High-impact sports include more sports than you may realize.

Basketball, baseball, football, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling would all fall in this category.

The clearest examples of high-impact sports are the ones that involve a lot direct contact as part of the competition. It’s the reason mouthguards are required to participate in football, hockey, wrestling, and lacrosse.

Running, changes speeds and directions frequently, and jumping (and landing) also can cause oral injuries. A hard landing can cause teeth to close forcefully, which has the potential to cause broken teeth, for example.

Of course, collisions between players are possible in any sport where multiple athletes are running around in the same space.

Any sport with flying objects — or the possibility of sending a participant flying — also could cause broken or knocked-out teeth. This may help explain why baseball and bicycling are among the sports most likely to cause oral and facial injuries.

Mouthguards are not required in most of the sports we mentioned on our list or dozens of others that require similar skills and risks. This is something for everyone — parents and children — to keep in mind.

Wearing a mouthguard could save your kids’ smiles, whether those mouthguards are mandatory or not.


How Much Of A Difference Can Mouthguards Make?

The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation predicts that more than three million teeth are knocked out annually during youth sports. Even so, around two-thirds of parents (67 percent) in a recent survey said their children do not wear mouthguards during games and practices.

The foundation also found that children who do not wear mouthguards were 60 times — yes, 60 — more likely to damage their teeth than children who do wear mouthguards.

To put it another way, compare playing sports to riding in a car. If you wouldn’t let your kids ride without wearing a seat belt, then you shouldn’t let them play sports without protecting their teeth, too.

A seat belt is not going to stop an accident from happening. Yet wearing one could be the difference between a serious injury and a minor one, or between a minor injury and no injury at all.

An athletic mouthguard could make the difference between a broken tooth or just a sore lip.


Why Should You Consider Custom-Fitted Mouthguards For Your Kids?

We want to say from the outset that any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard at all. That does not mean that all mouthguards are created equal, however.

Stock mouthguards may or may not fit comfortably in your mouth. Plus, these mouthguards cannot be molded to the shape of your children’s teeth.

Boil-and-bite mouthguard attempt to address that issue by allowing the wearer to bite down on the material after it has been heated. This is a step in the right direction, but many over-the-counter mouthguards are bulky. This may interfere with breathing and communication during competition.

Because of their limitations, kids may be more likely to avoid using them.

That’s also why both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association endorse the use of custom-fitted mouthguards. We can make this for your kids at our Ortonville, MI, dentist office.

Because these mouthguards a made from a mold of your children’s teeth, they are smaller than store-bought mouthguards. This makes it easier to breathe and to speak while wearing them.

But most important, properly fitted mouthguards are more effective at protecting against injuries.


Call 248-469-0218 or make an appointment online so we can help.

Everyone at Brandon Family Dental wants to see you and your kids’ smiles for years and decades to come. Protecting your smiles with athletic mouthguards is a step in the right direction.