Summer Is Almost Here: Is Your Young Athlete Ready?

The weather is finally starting to turn to warmth here in Rochester. Trees and flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is shining, and summer sports are just around the corner. It’s an exciting time of year for young athletes everywhere: there’s new gear to buy, goals to achieve, and sports to learn and grow in.

As a parent you want to be sure your child is playing it safe, and you do everything you can to make sure they are. You buy the proper gear to keep them safe from head to toe, but what about their teeth? Most parents assume unknowingly that the mouthguards from over-the-counter are good enough, but the reality is different: they simply don’t provide the protection your child needs.

How Commercial Mouthguards Fall Short

You know the type: they’re either boil-and-bite or ready to wear out of the package. They might seem like enough to stop the damage a collision can cause, but let’s take a closer look at why they don’t fit the bill.

First off, let’s talk materials: those sporting goods store mouthguards aren’t made from the best stuff. A lot of them wear out fast, leading to weak spots that can cause injury when the wrong kind of pressure is applied. It’s surprising how fast they can fail, especially if your young athlete spends a lot of time biting down hard to keep it in places.

Second you have the fit, or lack thereof. Those commercial guards simply don’t fit anyone well! They’re uncomfortable, bulky, and they can really obstruct breathing. A commercial mouthguard could well be the difference between having the freedom to make a big play and falling short because you just can’t breathe well enough.

We also want to talk about stability, which goes along with the fit. A mouthguard that doesn’t sit properly in the mouth isn’t going to stay in place very well, which can lead to two big problems: it either falls out or can cause the jaw to slam hard into the skull. Both really increase the risk of injury, and a lot of those injuries are serious.

The Importance Of A Good Mouthguard

High-impact sports like hockey, football, boxing, lacrosse, or rugby all require the use of good oral protection. Each year there are around 600,000 emergency room visits that result from a lack of oral health protection – that commercial guard could leave your child among that incredibly high number!

Without a mouthguard, or with a cheap one, you can face chipped teeth, fractured teeth, teeth that get knocked out, rips and tears to soft tissue, and even concussion – not a lot of people think about that last one!

Concussions are a common side effect of high-impact sports. If your child’s jaw isn’t comfortably held in place with a mouthguard that absorbs the force of an impact their jaw could slam into their skull. The pressure being transferred from jaw to skull is easily enough to cause a brain-rattling injury.

Proper mouth protection decreases the chance that your child will have a dental injury by about 60 percent. Each year more than 200,000 additional accidents are prevented by mouthguards made custom for athletes of all ages.

The Custom Mouthguard Difference

When you come to Northwest Dental Group for a custom athletic mouthguard you’re getting your child a degree of protection you simply can’t find in an over-the-counter product. We build every mouthguard we make based on an impression of your child’s teeth so that it fits absolutely flawlessly, giving them comfort, breathability, and protection. Our mouthguards can be customized to the kind of sport your child will be playing, and we can even make custom designs to match their team colors or personal desires!

The fit, protection, and reliability of a custom mouthguard is second to none. You won’t find a professional athlete caught on the field without their custom mouthguard – anything else is just inviting an injury!

We can have a custom mouthguard made for your child in just a couple of weeks, and with sports season coming up soon there’s no better time than now to invest in the protection they need to remain outside those 600,000 annual emergency room visits.

Don’t Let The Clock Run Out!

If you’re rounding out your to-do list for the summer sports season don’t forget to contact our Rochester offices to schedule an appointment for your child! You can reach us at 507-315-2932 or you can request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!