Protecting your teeth is vital throughout different growth stages. Children can suffer damage to their adult teeth from traumatic accidents, contact sports, poor hygiene, or teeth grinding. A cost-effective way that many parents can help their children avoid damaging their teeth is by getting them a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Knowing when and how to use a mouthguard effectively may help your child avoid hurting their teeth and safeguard their future oral health as well. If your child grinds their teeth at night or you are wondering if it’s time to get them a mouth guard, our dental team at Rockland Dental Specialists can help.
How Do I Know if It’s Time to Get My Child a Mouth Guard?
Involuntary teeth grinding during sleep is one of the most common causes of pediatric night guard services. Additionally, a mouth guard is highly recommended for children who play sports or participate in other physical activities to help avoid harm in the case of an accident. If your child experiences the following conditions or risks, it may be time to consider getting them a mouthguard.
Teeth Grinding Episodes
Studies show that sleep bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, affects around 6% to nearly 50% of children. Involuntary teeth clenching and grinding episodes can cause head, jaw, and neck pain. This condition can also cause baby and adult teeth to become painful, eroded, and unstable within the oral cavity.
If your child wakes up in the morning with headaches and jaw soreness, or you hear their teeth clashing while they sleep, it may be time to consider a mouth guard. Grinding teeth may also be a possible sign of sleep apnea. In these cases, airway and breathing concerns must be professionally evaluated by a dentist or physician that is trained in airway medicine.
Pediatric Dental Injuries in Sports
Sports can be fun and exciting for many kids. However, high-velocity and contact sports increase the risk of dental injuries. Common dental injuries from sports-related accidents include cracked teeth, fractured roots, and tooth intrusions. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) recommends wearing mouthguards to effectively reduce the risk of dental trauma during sports and recreational activities.
Understandably, many parents are concerned about their child’s oral health and maintenance. A specialized dentist can advise you regardless of a child’s age and other dental needs. If you are wondering whether your child could benefit from a mouth guard or night guard, speak with an experienced dental specialist for an expert evaluation.
What to Know About Proper Use of a Pediatric Mouth Guard
If the time comes to get your child a pediatric mouthguard, you should know a few elements regarding oral hygiene. Incorporating a mouthguard in a child’s nighttime routine or keeping the mouthguard handy for sports and activities is an easy and familiar practice for many parents. Here are some tips and information about what to expect when your child uses a mouthguard.
The proper care and use of a mouthguard for your child include the following:
- You should wash mouthguards after every use.
- You may use a toothbrush to clean the mouth guard lightly.
- You do not need to apply toothpaste while cleaning the mouth guard.
- It’s essential to allow the mouth guard to dry before it is stored away.
- Mouth and night guards should always be kept inside a case when not in use.
- You should deep clean a mouth guard at least once a month.
- Maintaining routine oral hygiene and mouthguard visits with your child’s dentist is essential.
On average, mouthguards with proper care can last five years. However, this may not apply to custom-fitted mouthguards due to anatomical growth and teeth changes for children. Depending on your child’s age and the mouth guard’s wear and tear, yearly replacements may be necessary. With the help of your child’s dental team, you can help your child avoid harmful dental injuries by obtaining a comfortable mouth guard.
Speak With Your Pediatric Dentist to Schedule a Dental Care Appointment for Your Child
Rockland Dental Specialists is staffed with caring and experienced specialists available to provide various dental services, including mouth guard evaluations. At our state-of-the-art office, your child can feel comfortable in our quality dental chairs. We also offer entertainment, such as Netflix, during treatments.
Your child’s dental needs and oral health are important to us as they are to you. If it’s time to get your child a mouthguard, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Complete our contact form today or call us at (845) 400-9205 to request an appointment.