School has started in Orlando and Lake County. This is leading parents, students and coaches to begin to equip themselves for the new school year. Student athletes are working hard both in school and on their team to ensure a successful season. The most popular sports apparel and equipment are being sought after by students of all ages. As the search is on, the parents and students are interested in knowing the importance of wearing mouthguards for protection when participating in contact sports this year. There is a plethora of information that supports the importance of wearing mouthguards and evidence is available that shows the level of protection provided when student athletes are equipped with them when playing sports.
Should Mouthguards Be Worn by Student Athletes?
With each coming year, new students enter the world of contact sports. It is our job to make sure each student is safe when participating on a sports team. Safety precautions have to be taken into consideration for each student to receive the highest level of protection available to them. Injuries to the mouth happen and can be avoided when students opt to wear a mouthguard while practicing and taking part in an actual game. When students choose not to wear mouthguards, injuries to the mouth are estimated to be 70 times more likely to occur.
One benefit of wearing a mouthguard is that it will offer a cushion for the tongue, lips, teeth and the structure of the jaw. Chipped and broken teeth, jaw fractures and teeth that are knocked out are all mouth injuries that can be acquired while playing sports.
Protection Provided for Student Athletes Wearing Braces
Students that wear braces will further benefit from wearing a mouthguard when playing sports. In addition to the protecting the teeth, jaws, and lips, mouthguards provide a barrier to protect for the skin on the inside of the mouth from abrasion by braces.
The Protection of Young Athletes
The American Dental Association says that more than 7 million sports related injuries are acquired by young student athlete as little as five years old. Similar predictions have also been made by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. It is said that with each coming year there will be over three million teeth knocked out of student athletes participating in contact sports. As a result, orthodontists are urging students to wear mouthguards when practicing and playing in sports games. Doctors and dentists are recommending students begin to wear the guards as the permanent teeth start to grow in the mouth, if not sooner. Usually the first permanent teeth begin to grow in around seven years of age. Children are also encouraged to visit an orthodontist for their first check up around age 7 for this very same reason – as the first permanent teeth erupt, an orthodontist can check to make sure the child’s jaws, teeth, and bite are developing normally and offer guidance to help correct significant growth and jaw problems.
Finding Your Mouthguard
Fortunately, mouthguards can be found relatively easily and are usually inexpensive. For a more accurate and comfortable fit, Dr. Escott is able to create a custom-made mouthguard for his patients. This is fabricated using an impression of the mouth – using either state-of-the-art digital scans and 3-D print, or traditional dental molds. Custom mouthguards have the benefit of a snug and comfortable fit. Regardless of the mouthguard you choose to give your student athlete, the most important thing is that these young men and women protect themselves so that they can focus on enjoying a successful season and avoid accidental trauma to the mouth, jaws, and teeth.