Palos Pediatric Dentistry

Should my child wear a mouth guard when playing sports?

kid playing football | palos heights ILI don’t know why I always struggle with this question.  The sports that carry the most risk – football, hockey, lacrosse – all require mouthguards.  It’s no coincidence that I don’t see many dental injuries from any of these sports.  The remaining sports are “less physical”, but although the likelihood of injury might be less, when injuries do happen they can be really ugly.  A baseball to the mouth, an elbow to the teeth while playing basketball, or a head-to-head collision playing soccer can all be severe injuries.  The challenge is that these sports don’t require mouthguards, so often if your child wears one he is the only one on the team doing so.

Breaking an arm might seem more severe, but breaking a tooth is far more likely to affect someone later in life.  A broken bone heals, and we’re left with just a story.  But a broken tooth requires repair, and that repair often requires maintenance and eventually replacement.  I recommend you use your own judgment.  We can’t possibly prevent every injury, but we can prevent injuries that we might be able to foresee.  If your son or daughter is playing competitive sports and you have any concerns about injuries, a custom-fit mouthguard will be less bulky compared to the store-bought version, and they’ll be able to talk and breathe more easily.  Call us today if you have any more questions.