If your household is anything like mine growing up, there was a constant battle with my parents and me and my siblings regarding our mouthguards and actually wearing them. We always would use the cheap boil n bite guards that didn’t fit well and none of us liked to wear them or understood the importance of them. In fact, it wasn’t until I started working for Gameday Mouthguards that I really got what all the fuss was about. So here is everything you should know about mouthguards and your children.
Firstly let's start by discussing the reason it’s mandatory in contact sports to wear a guard, the risk of injury. When you are playing sport, particularly contact sports, the risk of your child becoming injured increases by approximately 60%. Even if your kid is generally a cautious child, they have no control over other players. Sports a physical activity and accidents happen, often!
With technology constantly improving, sports mouthguards are becoming increasingly effective in protecting injury. We are big fans of the saying any mouthguard is better than nothing. This is because wearing any kind of protective mouthguard during sport will help play a role in protecting your teeth, gum and jaw. Of course the amount varies depending on the quality, thickness, design and fit of the guard, Gameday would prefer all young aussie sports people are protecting their teeth with any kind of mouthguard.
A poorly fitted guard can cause your child to gag and actually implicates the effectiveness of the guard. No one wants a chunky bit of plastic in your mouth triggering your gag reflexes, particularly not whilst playing sport! This is why it is important to take some time to getting the guard well fitted if you are using a boil n bite. But be careful not to compromise the level of protection the guard is providing to your child. Sports mouthguards should reach to your back molars without intruding on the soft palate as this is what can trigger the gag reflexes. If it doesn’t stretch far enough back it won’t protect your child's jaw or teeth as much. The other necessity when it comes to mouthguards is getting a guard that reaches upto the gums to help play a role in protecting the roots of the teeth.
Different kinds of guards offer different levels of protection and quality. Different materials, the design i.e. how far back and how high up the guard reaches, thickness and the way the guard can be shaped to fit your mouth. The more features of the guard the higher the quality is likely to be i.e. material, thickness, boil n bite technology, custom fit, design and materials. For example one of our custom fit guards designed to match the mould of your mouth, protect your gums and back molars will be able to absorb impact and protect the teeth more effectively than a boil n bite that is not correctly fitted to your child's mouth.
I think all to often people forget how expensive a dental injury is and it’s not always covered by health insurance. Some dental procedures can be upwards of $10,000 just for an operation on one single tooth! These expensive injuries tend to be related to the root of your teeth (something commonly not protected in low quality mouthguards). Spending the money on a high quality mouthguard seems fairly insignificant compared to dentist bills such as this.
If you are looking for more information about certain requirements your guard should be meeting ready our article '4 Signs That Your Mouthguard Is Right For You'.