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Mouthguards after COVID

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

It is such a pleasure to drive by the local sports fields to see, once again, children playing and having fun with friends and teammates.

The pandemic caused most children to lose a full year or more of sports participations. Everyone is happy to see them back in action.

If your child is donning the cleats or batting helmet for the first time since the COVID pandemic, be sure to check his mouthguard.

Depending on your child’s rate of growth, the mouthguard he wore in 2019 may not fit in 2021. A teenager may be able to wear his mouthguard for multiple years, but smaller children tend to need a new one every year or two.

This column has addressed the importance of mouthguards for children playing contact sports several times in the last few years.  Mouthguards are a small investment in your child’s dental health and, in case of an injury, can save you (and your child) serious time, money, and frustration. 

The ideal place to get a mouthguard is at your dental office.

These mouthguards are fitted to your child’s bite and are more comfortable than those purchased in a retail store. This is important because the child will be more likely to wear the guard if it is comfortable.

A more recent COVID reason to purchase the fitted mouthguard is that it will reduce the number of times that your athlete will be putting his fingers in his mouth to adjust or take the guard in and out.

If a professionally fitted mouthguard is not in your budget (estimate $75-150) depending on where it is fabricated), the mouthguards purchased over-the-counter are better than not wearing one at all.

Talk to your Orthodontist about mouthguards if your child is in the middle of orthodontic treatment. 

The doctor may suggest a different (and relatively inexpensive) mouthguard which accommodates the braces on the teeth. 

Encourage your child to think of the mouthguard as just another piece of necessary sports equipment!

PHOTO CAP: A sports mouthguard is a worthwhile investment to protect your child’s teeth.

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