It’s that time of year again: Sports season.

Parents are rushing around gathering all the sports essentials for their children’s fall activities. You’ve found the shoes, shorts, helmets and that trendy water bottle, but double check your list. Did you forget anything?

If a mouth guard is not on your shopping list, then yes, you have indeed forgotten a vital piece of equipment for your young athlete.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists(AAO), a 2017 survey showed that even though 99% of respondents felt children should be required to wear mouth guards in order to play organized sports, only 37% said their child never wears a mouth guard while participating in sports.

When should a mouth guard be worn?

Basketball, football, hockey, soccer, wrestling, martial arts, baseball, skiing, volleyball and softball are some of the most common activities where mouth guard use is extremely important. However, athletes participating in gymnastics, cheerleading, ice-skating, skateboarding, bicycling and field events should also be wearing mouth guards. Even when children are jumping on a trampoline with friends, it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard.

Rule of thumb: If you are questioning whether your child should wear a mouth guard, MAKE THEM WEAR IT. It is a quick step to take care of their teeth and save them a lot of pain, time and money in the long run.

Do mouth guards actually help protect your teeth?

According to the American Dental Association(ADA), studies have shown that mouth guards significantly reduce injury. The ADA estimates more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouth guard.

A 2018 review also found the prevalence of dental trauma among mouth guard users to be 7.5% to 7.75% compared to 48.31% to 59.98% for those who did not wear mouth guards. Mouth guard users were also between 82% and 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial injuries.

Looking for another reason to wear a mouth guard? Keep in mind that the cost of a mouth guard is minor in comparison to the cost of replacing one knocked out tooth, which according to the AAO can range from $5,000 to $20,000. Yikes!

Where do I get a mouth guard?

When in treatment at Sawyer Creek Orthodontics, we provide patients with mouth guards to fit over brackets to help protect the teeth, lips and cheeks. After orthodontic treatment, ask us about creating a custom fit mouth guard to protect that new smile!

Don’t have a mouth guard? Call us at 920-231-4922 to get an appointment scheduled to have one fabricated.