Winter sports are wrapping up and spring sports are ramping up, so I think now is a good time to review facial protection. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, 5 million teeth are knock out annually on children, high school athletes, and adults. It is essential that an athlete’s mouth guard fits properly, is comfortable and is worn. Whether the athletic mouth guard is fabricated in our office, or it is a take home kit from the sporting goods store, it must protect and cover the vital structures.
The guard should cover all of the maxillary (upper) teeth and extend onto the gum several millimeters in order to be an adequate shock absorber. It should not be too thin and should be replaced at least annually, especially if your child is still loosing teeth. However, an improper fit will not provide adequate protection. If you have a question about your child’s athletic mouth guard, feel free to give us a call.
Lastly, I want to wish all of the athletes competing in sections, state, or other season ending tournaments the best of luck. I will be watching the sports page for the results!