How Early Can Kids Begin Wearing Athletic Mouthguards?

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While athletic mouthguards are not mandatory in many sports, they are highly recommended for young athletes with still-developing teeth and gums. But how early can kids start wearing mouthguards, and how do they protect their teeth from damage?

A pediatric dentist in Aubrey, TX can help parents and guardians navigate their child's dental health. If you have questions about athletic mouthguards, board-certified pediatric dentist Dr. Karrie Lee can provide comprehensive information and resources. Call WindHaven Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an assessment and learn how we help safeguard your child's smile through custom-made mouthguards.

What age should kids start wearing mouthguards?

Most parents wait until their child participates in a contact sport before considering an athletic mouthguard. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends mouthguards as soon as they start playing any organized sport. This is because even noncontact sports like basketball or skateboarding can result in dental damage.

There is no designated age for when your child should start wearing a mouthguard. It's best to meet with a pediatric dentist to see if a mouthguard is appropriate for their needs at this time.

How do mouthguards work?

Mouthguards protect the teeth and gums in the event of a fall or collision. They prevent common dental injuries, such as a broken or cracked tooth, a chip in the enamel, or soft tissue damage like a cut on the gums.

There are many kinds of mouthguards to choose from, including:

  • Stock mouthguards: Stock mouthguards can be bought at most sporting goods stores. However, they are not custom-fitted and could be bulky and uncomfortable.
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These mouthguards are made from a plastic material that is softened in boiling water and then molded to the teeth. While they are more comfortable than stock mouthguards, they may not fit as expected.
  • Custom-fitted mouthguards: Custom-fitted mouthguards are made from an impression of your child’s teeth at the dentist. They offer the highest quality in terms of fit, comfort, and overall protection.

A pediatric dentist in Aubrey, TX can discuss these mouthguards and other options during a dental evaluation.

What happens during a mouthguard appointment?

WindHaven Pediatric Dentistry understands the importance of safeguarding your child’s smile, whether they play a contact sport or not. During a dental assessment, Dr. Lee will examine their teeth and gums and ask about their involvement in sports. We may take x-rays to check for underlying dental problems, like cavities, before discussing athletic mouthguards.

How long do athletic mouthguards last?

Athletic mouthguards should be replaced every season, or as soon as they start to show signs of normal wear and tear. You should also take into account how often your child plays or practices their sport.

If your child’s mouthguard is too small, it will not protect the teeth as it should. On the other hand, large mouthguards are uncomfortable and can impede breathing and speaking. Dr. Lee can help determine if your child’s mouthguard needs to be replaced during regular dental cleanings and exams.

Try an athletic mouth guard

Mouthguards are an important investment in your child’s teeth and overall oral health. Learn how WindHaven Pediatric Dentistry helps keep your child’s smile healthy by calling for a consultation with board-certified pediatric dentist Dr. Karrie Lee. Our experienced pediatric dentist in Aubrey, TX has proudly served children and families throughout the area.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.