Update: See our most recent post about mouthguards, with recommendations from a new study here!
You might think that football is the most dangerous sport that a child can play, but here at Gladstone Family Dentistry, most of the injuries we see are from wayward baseballs and careless bats. Dr. Krause once helped a patient who took a baseball to the mouth and broke off a bottom tooth! The child needed a root canal on two teeth, bottom and top, and a procedure to rebuild one of her teeth.
But there’s risk from other sports as well. A word of warning to weight lifters: Dr. Kato once worked on a patient who performed an overly excited clean and jerk, and hit himself, breaking three teeth!
We recommend custom mouthguards for student athletes
We can’t predict injuries. That’s why we prevent them! Football players have been required to wear protective mouth gear for some years now, and have seen a dramatic decrease in injuries because of it. It shows how effective mouthguards can be, but the type of mouthguard is just as important. Do-it-yourself mouthguards offer some protection, but a custom-made mouthguard that we make for your child here at GFD is far better.
Here are the reasons:
A custom mouthguard can be tailored to the sport
Mouthguards can be customized to fit the sport. Football mouthguards look and function differently from baseball mouthguards.
A custom mouthguard is more comfortable
Boiled or stock mouthguards are the cheaper counterpart for a custom fit mouthguard, but they are not always thick enough in the correct places to maximize protection. They can have sharp edges that rub uncomfortably on the gums or the inside of the cheeks.
Children with braces need a special fit
A custom fit mouthguard will have extra room for the child’s braces, and protect them from mouth abrasions from hard impact on the field.
Even a custom mouthguard costs significantly less than a procedure to replace a tooth
We know that the pain of one’s pocketbook is nothing next to the pain in a child’s eyes, but both are factors in a mouth injury. Replacing a tooth can costs several times more than a mouthguard. It’s not only the safer choice, it’s the cheaper choice!
Custom mouthguards help decrease the likelihood of concussions
A 2014 study found that “High school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards.”
Make the safe choice—have your child fitted for a mouthguard
We recommend that baseball players, and athletes in other sports like lacrosse, tennis, ice hockey, field hockey, wrestling, and even gymnastics, wear custom-fitted mouthguards. We’ll make a mold of your child’s teeth, and then create a mouthguard perfectly fit to their mouth and for the sports he or she plays. We add extra thickness in front for football and basketball, and extra thickness on the sides for baseball. We can also create a mouthguard with custom colors—Gladstone High School colors are a popular request!