As a parent, every new sport season requires a bit of planning: making sure your child shows up to the try-outs, purchasing the right uniform, filling out the correct medical release forms, and having the right transportation lined up to get from school to the field (or court or rink) and back home again. These might seem like the big things – and they’re certainly important – but it’s often the minor details that make a significant difference. For example, have you replaced your child’s mouthguard since last season?
Why Mouthguards Matter
Out of all the equipment and gear kids are required to wear in contact sports like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse, the mouthguard is by far the most misunderstood and neglected. Unfortunately, this leaves thousands of children unnecessarily exposed to serious injuries over the course of a year.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries every single year in high school and college football alone! (If you extrapolate the data over every sport across all youth age groups, it would likely be in the millions.) Mouthguards prevent broken and chipped teeth, as well as teeth that would otherwise have been knocked out by a forcible blow. They also protect a child’s lips, face, and tongue from lacerations and bruising. Furthermore, the ADA has data to suggest that a mouthguard can reduce the severity of certain types of concussions and possibly even prevent spinal injuries by redistributing the force from a blow to the head.
When to Replace a Mouthguard
Mouthguards should be worn anytime a child is involved in a sport that has the possibility of contact – including recreational sports like skateboarding, climbing, or mountain biking. And unlike swimming goggles or a baseball glove that can be used season after season, your child’s mouthguard should be replaced with each new season. Here’s why:
- Mouthguards wear down. Over the course of a season, a mouthguard is worn for hundreds of hours. It’s not uncommon for athletes to chew on them, or for mouthguards to become frayed and deformed. If a mouthguard reaches this point, it’s best to replace it.
- Your child’s mouth is growing. For young athletes – including children and teenagers – it’s important to replace mouthguards regularly to account for changes in mouth size and shape. Teeth have a way of shifting and you want to ensure your child’s mouthguard always fits properly.
- Your child now has braces. Regular mouthguards aren’t designed to accommodate braces, but this doesn’t mean your child should compete unprotected. Choosing a mouthguard designed to accommodate braces like our Lithos mouthguards, will ensure your child doesn’t damage teeth or suffer cuts and lacerations that can result from damaged wires and brackets.
- It keeps things clean. From a very practical perspective, replacing your child’s mouthguard at the beginning of every new season is a simple way to ensure it’s clean and free of unwanted bacteria.
At Makura Sport, we’re proud to design and manufacture industry-leading mouthguards for athletes of all ages. Every Makura Mouthguard is CE certified by SATRA, an independent third-party based in the UK, and has been impact and innocuous tested for safety and performance.
Read more about safety in sport from Makura:
- Why Mouthguards Matter in American Football
- Why Mouthguards Matter in Basketball
- Why Mouthguards Matter in Boxing
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