How to Protect a Child’s Teeth During Sports

April 30, 2020 5:35 pm

little girl playing soccer

As a parent, you’re always looking out for your child’s safety—from thinking about the best foods to feed them to searching for the most trustworthy people to babysit them. Oral health is profoundly connected to overall wellness and confidence. A child’s smile can have a huge impact on the rest of their life. Therefore, it’s crucial to teach your child how to care for their precious teeth and gums. This includes daily at-home oral hygiene, routine dental visits, and proper head protection during sports and physical activities.

Does your child participate in sports that involve a lot of collisions or physical contact with other players, equipment, and/or the ground? They have an increased chance of experiencing a dental injury. Here’s what you can do to protect your child’s mouth:

Get a Custom Sports Mouthguard

Getting a sports mouthguard for your child is more affordable and less stressful than having to deal with a broken or knocked-out tooth or even a lip laceration due to a ball to the face, a collision with a player’s elbow, or a fall.

Athletes that participate in the following high-contact sports benefit from mouthguard protection: basketball, boxing, football, ice and field hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, rodeo, rugby, soccer, and wrestling.

Participants in activities that involve contact which is minimal but still potentially injurious also benefit from a sports mouthguard. Activities in this category include baseball, BMX biking, cheerleading, gymnastics, high jump, skateboarding, pole vault, racquetball, softball, and volleyball.

Even if your child’s coaches, school, or league don’t require that they wear a mouthguard, consider getting one anyway.

While you can find stock mouthguards from a sporting goods store or even a drug store, these won’t be form-fitted to your child’s mouth. This means they offer minimal protection and comfort. A boil-and-bite mouthguard is better than a stock mouthguard, but a custom mouthguard is the best option when it comes to optimal protection and comfort. Comfort is important because you want your child to actually wear the mouthguard. The mouthguard is pointless if your child tosses it aside because of discomfort or irritation.

Have a Proper Helmet

A sports mouthguard isn’t the only type of protective gear out there used against dental injuries. Make sure your child has a well-fitting helmet that is appropriate for their sport, whether it’s baseball, softball, hockey, football, softball, skateboarding, or snow sports. If they’re playing a few different sports, take care that they have the specific ones necessary for each to ensure maximum protection.

Is your child only a recreational participant, like in your neighborhood or driveway? Please still make sure their head, face, and mouth are protected with a helmet. A helmet is an important preventive measure even for a short bike ride around the block or ball game in the cul-de-sac.

Your Pediatric Dentist in San Antonio, TX

Interested in getting a sports mouthguard for your child? Or maybe you’d like more tips about protecting your child’s smile? Our expert team at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in San Antonio, TX, is here for you!

Contact our pediatric dental office directly to speak with one of our skilled team members. You can also check out our website’s FAQs section for some common questions and questions related to children’s dental health.

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