With the new school year upon us, our team at Highlands Dentistry understands that fall sports will be starting soon. We also know how important it is to protect your face while playing sports. Therefore, our office is helping to spread the word that many facial sports injuries can be prevented simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards. This week we wanted to talk about mouth guards, what they are, and when to use them. If you have any additional questions, give us a call at Highlands Dentistry. We'd love to hear from you!
Q: What are athletic mouth protectors?
A: Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic. They are adapted to fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth.
Q: Why are mouth guards important?
A: Mouth guards hold top priority as sports equipment. They protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They help protect children from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.
Q: When should my child wear a mouth guard?
A: Whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.
Q: How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
A: Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard. So, choose a mouth guard that your child can wear comfortably. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech, it will be left in the locker room. Drs. Ray Besharati and Shadi Araghi can advise you on what type of mouth guard is best for your child.