Being the parent of a teenage athlete can be both thrilling and a little frightening. Of course, you’re proud of your child’s accomplishments and excited to see them in action, but you probably can’t help being just a little bit worried about the potential for injuries on the eld or court.
Football players need mouthguards, but they’re not the only ones.
While pads, helmets, and mouthguards are par for the course in football, other team sports tend to have different requirements when it comes to safety equipment. But mouthguards are important in any sport where there’s a potential for impact — they can protect your child’s teeth, lips, and tongue, and can even reduce the chance of a concussion. The following are a few of the fall sports besides football where a mouthguard can come in handy.
You may think of volleyball as a sport that’s harder on the hands, feet, and knees than it is on the teeth. However, all of that jumping can actually be pretty tough on your child’s teeth. A hard landing could cause your child’s mouth to clamp shut hard and fast, which can be pretty jarring — it could cause tooth damage or even cause your child to bite their tongue. Mouthguards can prevent that.
What’s more, a volleyball can hit the face thanks to a misdirected spike or a hard bounce. A fully-inflated volleyball can be pretty rigid, especially if it’s moving fast. Mouthguards can prevent broken or chipped teeth from having such an impact.
Make sure your teen keeps their team spirit by avoiding mouth injuries.
While soccer isn’t as popular in the US as football, it can be every bit as physically challenging. And, unlike in football, soccer players learn to use their heads to redirect balls, not just their feet. It’s pretty easy for a poorly-aimed head bump to turn into a facial impact that could ruin your child’s dental work. Using a mouthguard can help protect their teeth from this kind of impact.
It’s also possible for players to collide on the court, and if your child tends goal, they’re at additional risk of balls flying at their face and head. Your teenage soccer player needs a mouthguard as much as any football player does.
If you’re the parent of a cheerleader, you know that your child is doing a lot more than waving pom-poms and shouting cheers. Granted, it’s pretty difficult to belt out a cheer while you’re wearing a mouthguard, so your child may need to remove the mouthguard while they’re actually cheering. But during a routine that carries a risk of impact, your teen definitely needs to be wearing mouth protection.
You might be surprised to learn that cheering carries the highest rate of injury in sports and accounts for two-thirds of catastrophic injuries in female athletes. A significant number of those injuries include concussions and other head injuries. A mouthguard is essential for protecting not just your child’s teeth, but also for helping to absorb the impact of a head or neck injury, which can reduce the risk of a concussion.
Talk to your child’s dentist about getting a custom-fitted mouthguard for the fall sports season. To make an appointment today, call us.