Back to school planning also includes getting your kids ready to play sports. Don't wait until the last minute to get one of the most overlooked, but important pieces of equipment - the custom mouthguard or oral appliance.
Safeguard Their Smile
Mouthguards are essential to protect teeth and avoid costly emergency dental treatment. When a blow is delivered to the mouth, the impact is absorbed by the structures in the mouth - often the teeth - and a forceful impact can cause tooth fracture, damage existing dental work, and tooth dislodgement. Mouth guards help by absorbing the energy of a blow, allowing the force of it to be distributed across a greater space, which minimizes the damage done to the teeth.
Each year, thousands of adults and children are treated for dental injuries that could have been prevented or minimized by wearing an oral appliance.
- According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists, 84 percent of children do not wear mouth guards while playing organized sports.
- The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out every year in youth sporting events.
- Athletes who don't wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth.
Protect Their Brain
In addition to avoiding costly dental injuries, custom mouth guards have also been proven to assist in concussion prevention in youth athletes.
In a recent study, high school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter mouth guards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted oral appliances.
Teenagers need more time to recover from concussions than adults and multiple concussions can cause permanent brain damage.
The Center for Disease Control reports the following statistics:
- Every year in the U.S. there are an estimated 300,000 High School athletes who suffer sports-related concussions.
- Football players have a 47.1% chance of sustaining a concussion, the highest of any other high school sport.
- Lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, basketball, softball, volleyball, and baseball round out the sports where teenagers have an increased chance of sustaining a concussion.
Proper Fit = Consistent Use
It is important to note that in order to be to be effective, mouthpieces have to be consistently utilized. A custom oral appliance that has been fitted by a qualified dentist is more comfortable and makes it easier for the athlete to speak and breathe and therefore, more likely to be worn.
Custom oral appliances fit and protect better than the outdated boil and bite type appliances because they are constructed specifically for the individual’s oral structure. A study by Academy of American Dentistry concluded
At The Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, our custom FDA-approved oral appliances are fabricated and fitted on site, usually within a few days.