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Gearing Up for Spring Sports? Don’t Forget a Mouthguard

By Lisa D'Aromando, WRAL, 05/10/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth, although if your child has braces, lower teeth mouthguards are also a smart idea to protect them from lacerations if hit.

Children get millions of teeth knocked out each year while playing youth sports. Despite this fact, 84 percent of children do not wear mouthguards when they play. These relatively inexpensive protective devices can do much to prevent damage to teeth, so dentists recommend mouth guards as an integral component of any team uniform.

"Outfitting children with safety equipment is important, and one occasionally forgotten-but-essential piece of safety equipment is a mouth guard," said Dr. Scott Cashion, a pediatric dentist in Greensboro, N.C. Mouthguards protect more than just your child’s teeth from impact. They also protect the tongue, lips, jaw and face. The American Dental Association recommends mouthguards be worn right along with helmets and protective eyewear during sports. While this is especially important for those playing contact sports, mouthguards can also be beneficial for sports like gymnastics and skating.