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In my last email, I encouraged you to schedule your child’s dental visit before the start of the school year to make sure they are free of decay. You learned about the number of hours children miss in class instruction every year to resolve dental issues. Today, I want to expand on that topic a little bit and talk about another important area of children’s dentistry: mouthguards.

At Ist In Smiles, we offer custom-fit mouthguards that are proven to protect teeth more effectively than over-the-counter, boil-and-bite mouthguards. We recommend that your young ones use mouthguards during contact sports like football and hockey and even sports like basketball and soccer.

Before I discuss the benefits of our custom mouthguards, let me address a few facts related to mouthguard use and the history of mouthguard use. You might be surprised to learn that mouthguards were not always mandated for contact sports like football and hockey.

Here are some facts about mouthguards:

  • In America, about 5 million teeth are knocked out every year. Several of these injuries occur during sporting events.
  • According to the American Dental Association, anywhere from 13 to 40 percent of all dental injuries are related to sporting activities.
  • According to the American Dental Association, you are 60 times more likely to damage your teeth during a contact sport if you are not wearing a mouthguard.
  • A study from Academy of General Dentistry found that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 tooth-related injuries every year.
  • The National Federation of State High School Associations requires players to wear mouthguard in four sports: football, field hockey, lacrosse and ice hockey. Despite the mandate, studies have found that only about 75 percent of athletes are compliant with the rules.
  • Only about 7 percent of athletes involved in traditional non-contact sports like soccer, baseball and softball wear mouthguards.
  • Since the mandate began on mouthguards, studies show that tooth trauma in football has dropped by nearly 50 percent.
  • It’s not just tooth avulsions or breaks. Trauma to a tooth can cause damage to the root of the tooth, which could lead to an infection and future root canal treatment.
  • Sports mouthguards were first used in the 1920s during boxing events.

Protect Their Teeth … and Your Investment

As proud parents, we love seeing our kids playing a sport that they love. Americans spend millions of dollars on football cleats, basketball shoes, soccer boots – basically anything to help their kids feel more comfortable or perform at a higher level.

I tell parents every day to have their active children fitted for a custom mouthguard. I consider it one of the tools or pieces of equipment that children need in order to have a successful and safe year in athletics. In addition, I often see children and adults who have had substantial dental treatments, from crowns to orthodontic treatment. A mouthguard can help you protect your teeth and your investment. Emergencies and accidents do happen, but there’s no reason to subject your teeth to trauma if you can avoid it.

Why a Dental Professional Should Craft Your Mouthguard

Our mouthguards are designed from an exact mold of your mouth. We do not use one-size fits all. Every mouthguard is different, and our mouthguards do not inhabit any aerobic or breathing activity.

We’ve found that the most effective mouthguards are about 3mm in thickness and fit snuggly on the entire mouth. Over-the-counter mouthguards are much less effective than custom mouthguards and you are about twice as likely to suffer an injury using an OTC appliance.

When you’re getting ready for the school year, remember to keep us in your plan. We can develop a custom mouthguard that will allow your children to have a safe athletic year ahead. Our office creates mouthguards for sports, snoring and sleep apnea and TMJ-related problems. To hear more about our custom mouthguards or to schedule an appointment with our professional staff, call us today.