The use of a mouthguard during activity is vital for people across all age ranges, and one that's particularly notable for a few reasons is younger children. Because kids are still growing and developing in many ways, ensuring they're protected in the mouth, jaw and head area is of particular importance -- and may also involve a few slightly different concepts than adults due to differing child needs.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're proud to offer custom-fit mouthguards that are ideal for people of all ages, including kids playing a variety of sports or other activities. In this multi-part blog series, we'll go over all the important ways a mouthguard helps protect children during activity, plus use these benefits as ways of discussing how to help your child select the optimal mouthguard for their needs.
Keeping the Teeth Safe
First and foremost, just like for any person who wears a mouthguard, one of the primary benefits is that it helps keep the teeth safe. This is valuable in multiple ways, as damage to teeth can be both painful and expensive to fix. In some cases (particularly with very young children), tooth damage may also cause ongoing dental problems that could last a lifetime if not treated properly.
This can be especially important for kids in particular, whose mouths are still developing and growing. Because of this, their teeth may not be as strong as adult teeth, making them more susceptible to damage. In addition, if a child loses a tooth prematurely due to an injury, it could affect how the rest of their teeth grow in and cause alignment problems later on.
A good mouthguard can help reduce the risk of all of this, especially a custom-fit one that's designed specifically for the child's mouth. By fitting snugly around the teeth and gums, a mouthguard can help provide a buffer against impacts, hopefully lessening the severity (or even preventing) any damage that might occur.
Protecting the Whole Mouth
Furthermore, this protection extends beyond just the teeth to the rest of the mouth as well. This includes not only the gums, which can be injured in a fall or collision just like the teeth, but also the tongue, lips and cheeks. All of these areas are susceptible to cuts and lacerations if they come into contact with a hard object (such as another player, the ground, etc.), and a mouthguard can help shield them from these injuries. In addition, a mouthguard can also help protect against concussions and other head injuries.
Limiting Braces Damage
For kids who have braces or other dental appliances, a mouthguard can be an even more important piece of protective gear. This is because these appliances can protrude from the mouth and make injuries more likely, as well as cause damage to the appliances themselves if they're hit hard enough. A good mouthguard can help cushion any impacts and reduce the risk of damage, both to the child's mouth and to their braces.
For more on how mouthguards provide especially large value to children participating in various activities, or to learn about any of our custom mouthguard options, speak to the team at Damage Control Mouthguards today.