PLANTATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To support National Youth Sports Week, DentalPlans.com, a leading online marketplace for dental and health savings plans in the U.S., is urging parents to pay close attention to dental safety on the field, so sports and healthy smiles can coexist.
While sports provide many benefits, from better health to learning skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, responsibility and problem-solving, injuries are common. According to the American Dental Assistants’ Association, there are 15 million dental injuries and 5 million teeth lost in sports-related injuries each year. The solution? A mouthguard.
Why Wear a Mouth Guard?
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) estimates that players who don't wear athletic mouth guards are 60 times more likely to suffer at least one cracked tooth than those who do. However, a study by the American Association of Orthodontist found that 84% of children playing in organized sports do not wear mouth guards.
Mouth guards can be uncomfortable, distracting during play, and it can be hard to breathe normally or speak clearly when wearing one. But all those issues can be addressed with a mouth guard that fits correctly.
Finding the Right Mouth Guard for Your Child:
A Ready-Made Mouth Guard costs about $5-$20. While they do come in three sizes – small, medium, and large – the sizing is subjective, and this type of mouth guard can’t be customized to fit the wearer’s mouth. Most dentists don’t recommend this type of mouth guard, but some say ready-mades are better than no mouth guard at all. Choose one that has the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
A “Boil and Bite" Mouth Guard costs from $20-$50 and can be customized for a better fit – after heating the mouth guard the intended wearer bites down on it, reshaping it to fit the mouth. Thermoplastic boil and bite mouth guards tend to retain their flexibility over time better than the acrylic models and have a more neutral taste. As noted above, you want to look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the mouth guard’s packaging.
A Custom-Made Mouth Guard costs around $250 (and up), is made by a dentist or lab technician and provides real comfort and protection. These are often the best option for kids who have braces, misaligned bites and other dental concerns or certain allergies and sinus issues.
Keeping Your Mouth Guard Clean:
Whatever type of mouthguard is chosen, make sure to clean it after each wear using a toothbrush and toothpaste with cool water, then dry it and store in a clean, well- ventilated protective case. When signs of wear – like cracks and dimples in the surface of the previously smooth mouth guard – appear, it’s time to get a new one. Mouthguards may also need to be replaced to fit kids’ growing jaws and teeth.
Not Prepared for an Injury?
If a child experiences a dental injury, it’s critical to get to the dentist as soon as possible for the best chance of saving the tooth or teeth. Don’t have dental insurance or cash on hand to pay for the bill? Dental savings plans, unlike traditional dental insurance, activate quickly and can typically be used within 1-3 days. Many plans even offer emergency activation so you can go to the dentist right away and save 10-60% on most dental procedures.
To find out more about dental savings plans, visit dentalplans.com.
DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings online marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. www.dentalplans.com.