Mouth Guards for Children

A child with a mouthguard in their mouth

Did you know that 1/5th of all childhood trauma occurs with the mouth? While some injuries occur from accidents such as trips or falls, a large portion of oral trauma results from contact sports. For this reason, mouth guards for children are essential for those who play any contact sport.

The American Association of Orthodontists collected data for an independent survey about mouthguards, and this is what they found:

Ninety-nine percent of parents whose children play organized sports felt youth should be required to wear mouth guards to play. Yet 37 percent of parents said their child never wears a

mouthguard while playing sports – in games, practices, and recreational play.

“The reality is that many teeth are knocked out each year due to sports-related injuries,” says Nahid Maleki, DDS, MS, president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Mouth Guards for Contact Sports

Some common dental injuries in sports include tooth or crown fractures and teeth knocked out. Children who lose teeth due to sports may need space maintainers or dental implants.

Mouthguards help prevent most injuries and do not significantly affect breathing or speech when correctly fitted. On the other hand, dental injuries or premature loss of teeth can lead to long-term problems for a child.

You can avoid expensive and painful procedures by protecting your child’s mouth when they play sports. Therefore, children should wear mouthguards if they play any of the following contact sports:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Lacrosse
  • Hockey
  • Rugby

Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding

Does your child grind their teeth at night? Over time, tooth grinding wears down enamel and can cause painful problems such as chipping or cracking. In some cases, it can fracture or loosen teeth or cause damage to fillings, crowns, or bridges that may already be in the mouth.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding causes or contributes to several serious dental problems. Here are some of the symptoms your child may have if they are grinding their teeth:

  • Accelerated wear on their tooth surfaces
  • Soreness in their face and jaw
  • Cracks and chips in the teeth.
  • Heightened tooth sensitivity and frequent headaches

Mouth guards prevent grinding by creating even pressure throughout the mouth. They shield a child’s developing smile and protect the enamel on their teeth.

If your child exhibits these or other signs of bruxism, we may recommend using a night guard.

These are custom mouth guards designed to be worn during sleep and help prevent the harmful effects of teeth grinding. Each is designed to be as comfortable as possible, allowing uninterrupted, peaceful sleep.

While teeth grinding is common among small children, often, a night guard may not be necessary or beneficial for them. Small children often outgrow their teeth grinding. If your child is feeling stressed or anxious, identifying and eliminating its cause can also help end their teeth grinding. Our team will work with your family for the best individual solution.

Custom Mouth Guards

There are a variety of mouth guards available for purchase from sporting goods stores and pharmacies. However, we recommend a custom mouth guard from Orem Pediatric Dentistry. Custom mouthguards ensure the appliance’s proper fit and function – a poorly-fitting mouth guard can cause damage on its own. Custom mouth guards are essential for patients wearing braces or other special dental considerations.

Final Words

Mouth guards and night guards are an essential tool in preventing damage to the teeth from injury or teeth grinding. For more information about sports mouth guards or night guards in Orem, Utah, please contact us today at 801-802-7200 to schedule an appointment.


Dr. R. Bruce Howell

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