Summer is finally here, and the new season brings so many things. More sunshine, more time spent outside, and more sports. Although most sports are not necessarily summer sports, quite a few of them start during the summer, and more people are motivated to play new sports during the warm summer months. No matter the sport, you want to make sure your kids are being safe. Whether that means wearing a helmet while riding their bike, shin pads when playing soccer, or a sports guard during field hockey practice.
When does my child need to wear a sports guard?
Anytime that your child could potentially get hit in the mouth while playing a sport, whether with a ball or by another person, it’s smart to have them wear a sports guard! The American Dental Association put out a list of all of the sports that they recommend people of all ages should wear sports guards while playing: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. This list may seem exhaustive, but you’d rather be safe than sorry. In a lot of cases, such as children’s soccer, it would be fine to only have them wear it during an actual game, since a soccer practice will tend to be much less intense than a game.
Different types of sports guards
There are three different types of sports guards. A ready-made or stock guard, mouth-formed guards(also referred to as “boil and bite”), and a custom mouthguard made by your dentist. There are advantages to all three. They all vary in both price and comfort, but every single one will provide at least some level of protection for your teeth. The American Dental Association says that a properly fitting mouth guard should be comfortable, resistant to tearing, and resilient. It shouldn’t impair speech or breathing, should fit well, and be easy to clean.
The importance of a sports guard
Some sports require a sports guard. For example, martial arts classes will require a sports guard during sparring. It’s also necessary during wrestling. While your child may feel silly wearing a sports guard in a sport that the coach or team doesn’t require them to, it’s important to remember that damaged teeth won’t grow back, so it’s better safe than sorry.