According to the National Health Statistics Report, there are an estimated 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries each year with those aged 5-24 years accounting for over half of these injury episodes.
Every single year dentists around the country consult too many children with trauma to their teeth and mouths due to a sporting injury. A lot of these injuries might have been avoided if the child had worn a custom-built mouthguard.
Professional athletes wear custom mouthguards and there’s no reason why children shouldn’t follow their example. At Rickmansworth Orthodontics we believe the sooner children start wearing and perceiving them as the norm, the better.
There are different kinds of mouthguards accessible – ones that are custom made and fitted by a dental professional, or off the shelf boil and bite types that you can get from sports shops. The Oral Health Foundation suggests that custom-fitted mouthguards from a dental professional are the safest and preferred option. We recognise that custom-fitted mouthguards are pricier than off the shelf options but would advise you to spend a bit more and get one properly fitted. It may sound a lot of money, but compared to a lifetime of dental treatment or the distress of tooth loss, it really isn’t.
Whilst in principle we agree with the Oral Health Foundation advice, we do provide “off the shelf” mouthguards for our patients with fixed orthodontic appliances in place. We provide detailed fitting advice and these mouthguards will provide good protection for our patients. We have a preferred supplier with years of experience. When orthodontic treatment has been completed, we advise patients to return to their dentist to have a custom-fitted mouthguard made.