The Importance of Mouthguards in Youth Sports

 

Youths in competitive sports are at an all time high, with roughly 25 million kids under 18 participating in some type of organized sports program annually. Through sports, kids learn the importance of teamwork, physical education, and good sportsmanship. But along with all the great opportunities sports bring, there remains one downfall — the occasional injury. 

Unfortunately, injuries happen. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sports involvement accounts for nearly 36% of all unintentional injuries during childhood and adolescence. But don’t let that statistic scare you into keeping your child out of sports. Instead, learn the ways to best keep them safe! 

Thanks to mouthguards, dental injuries are among the easiest to prevent. Reports published by the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety show that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain an oral injury if not wearing a protective mouthguard, especially in high contact sports, such as football or wrestling. 
In addition to protecting the teeth, gums, and jaw, mouthguards also work to reduce the severity of a concussion. A study published in the May 2014 issue of General Dentistry found that athletes wearing store bought mouthguards were twice as likely to suffer a mild concussion or traumatic brain injury, than those who wore custom fitted mouthguards. Don’t get us wrong, any mouthguard is better than NO mouthguard. As long as your child has one in during play, they help absorb energy from impact – reducing the chance of concussions. However, just like a football player needs a proper, snug fitting helmet, your child needs a custom mouthguard to truly protect their mouth and brain.
 
Your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us, which is why we offer dedicated mouthguard centers at each of our Long Island locations. Whether you’re our current patient or have just stumbled across our blog – we welcome all to ensure your athlete has a custom fit mouthguard in time for their next big game! Contact us for more information!