If you are a parent of a young athlete, you are probably concerned about injuries in youth sports. You are not alone; a survey shows that 87% of parents feel the same way. Approximately 36 million kids play sports every year (66% of boys, and 52% of girls), and yes, some do get hurt. The best way to avoid this, however, is to make sure your child is equipped with the appropriate safety gear and is wearing it correctly.
Football is a particularly physical sport, with players constantly crashing into each other and risking injury. The only way to ensure your child’s safety is by finding the best types of youth football gear.
How mouthguards help to prevent injuries is relatively clear. They cover the upper teeth, protecting the soft tissue of your tongue, gums, lips, and cheeks, as well as preventing a hard blow to the face from dislodging the teeth.
How to adjust a football mouthpiece
- In a saucepan, heat water until boiling.
- Once at a boil, remove saucepan from heat and let it sit for 30 seconds.
- Put football mouthpiece in hot water and let it sit for no longer than 90 seconds.
- Remove mouthpiece carefully from hot water
- Run the mouthpiece under cool tap water for a moment to bring the temperature to a comfortable level and avoid burning the mouth.
- Place mouthpiece on all upper teeth and bite down firmly. Suck in and press the mouthpiece through your lips and cheeks with your fingers to mold to the teeth and gum line. Continue for 20 seconds.
- Remove the mouthpiece and set in cool tap water for 30 seconds.
- Place in the mouth once again to test the fit.
- If it does not fit correctly, repeat steps.
Even the best sports mouthguards do not last forever. They can lose their shape, thickness, and consequently their effectiveness over the course of one football season. To best protect your young athlete’s teeth, replace mouthguards when they show signs of wear and tear.
When to replace your football mouthguard
- The mouthguard has chew marks
- It is bent at the ends or on the edges
- It no longer fits tightly around the teeth, or it slides around
For more information regarding how to adjust a football mouthpiece, talk to your child’s coach.