Hanford, CA dentist helps parents understand the importance of mouth guards for pediatric dental health

As a parent, you have plenty to worry about when your child joins a sports team. Scrapes and bruises, practice times, family dinners planned around a busy schedule, and remembering when it is your turn to bring the team snack are only a few of the items on your busy to-do list.

While injuries to the body may be the most obvious risk of sports, it is important to remember to protect your child’s teeth and mouth as well. Tooth and mouth damage can be scary for anyone, but children are at risk of an injury affecting their future dental health, as well. Dr. Nikunj Raiyani, a trusted Hanford, CA dentist who has worked with many pediatric and adult patients explains the need for mouth guards.

What is a mouth guard?

A mouth guard is a dental appliance that is usually made of thin, comfortable plastic. It is used to protect the mouth during sport activities.

What kinds of injuries do mouth guards help to prevent?

Mouth guards protect the teeth from being broken or knocked out. Additionally, they also protect lips, cheeks, and roots of the teeth from damage, and can help to prevent a jaw fracture or even a concussion.

Who should use a mouth guard?

Anyone playing a sport should consider wearing a mouth guard. Some sports such as football, hockey, and boxing require the use of mouth guard because they are considered collision sports. However, most dentists recommend that patients participating in soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball, baseball, and volleyball consider the use of a mouth guard as well. Players cannot anticipate when they may be hit with a ball, or when they may come into contact with another player’s elbow, shoulder, or the ground. Preventing an oral injury is easier, and safer, than fixing one.

My child doesn’t like his mouth guard. What should I do?

While the mouth guard may feel awkward at first, the only real way to get past that feeling of discomfort is to keep wearing it. Most children quickly get used to a mouth guard. Like all oral appliances, it will become more comfortable with time and practice. In fact, most players who wear a mouth guard barely notice it at all.

Dr. Raiyani, and the entire team at Hanford Family Dental Center, are committed to the oral health of their patients. If you or your child has further questions about mouth guards, or if you are ready to order one, call our office today. Proper fit will help the guard feel comfortable and ensure that it works appropriately.

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