Monday, October 3, 2011

Youth Sports: Playing with Braces

And One
My daughter, CC, got braces last Tuesday morning. Last Tuesday night she had a basketball game and about 30 minutes into the game she got her first bloody lip from the braces. 

During the ride home from the game, she asked me to take her to Dick's Sporting Goods to get her a mouth guard. 

This is not the first time we bought CC a mouth guard. If you recall from my March 15, 2011 post called Youth Sports: Mouth Guards Recommended, I bought my daughter a mouth guard during the AAU basketball season. It just was not comfortable and no one else on the team was wearing one, so she never got into the habit of wearing it. That $20 mouth guard is collecting dust somewhere.

While writing that post, I learned a lot about the benefits of mouth guards. Benefits that I did not know about. (Read the post, it has lots of good information and links). After that post, I have been alerted to many more sports tragedies regarding concussions. Tragedies that might have been prevented to reduced with the use of a properly fitted mouth guard.

One ESPN article about a scappy women's soccer player called Heading For Trouble, by Peter Keating caught my attention because my daughter is a small scrappy player like the women in the story. In this article I learned about the prevalence of concussions in women's sports especially basketball. 
In sports played by both women and men, women sustain more concussions. The girls' concussion rate in high school soccer is 68% higher than for boys. And it's nearly triple the boys' rate in high school basketball, according to research by scientists at Ohio State, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the NCAA. 
My daughter plays soccer and basketball so, I intend to help my daughter make wearing a mouth guard a habit.

We purchased a Shock Doctor Mouth Guard developed specifically for use with braces. My daughter wore it last night. She is still getting used to breathing and talking with it, but she kept it in the entire game last night. It didn't seem to impact her performance. She led all scorers with 8 points including a key 15 foot baseline jumper with less than a minute left to give our team a two possession lead in a game we won 25-20.

The Main Point

Mouth Guards are not that fashionable and are not that comfortable at first, but I urge all parents to get their kids who play soccer, basketball, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey and football to get into the habit of wearing a mouth guard. The guard can help prevent lacerations, fractures, dislocations, broken teeth and concussions*.

* According to Shock Doctor, when there is an impact to the jaw or mouth, the mouthguard absorbs and redistributes the force of the blow more evenly, which can help lessen the severity of an impact and even help keep the force of an impact from moving to the brain.


  1. Clarance Gaines - forwarded a study that shows Mouth Guards do not prevent or decrease the affects of concussions.

  2. I bet $20 seems like pocket change compared to the cost of those braces! A poorly timed basketball or baseball to the head is going to tear up the inside of a player's mouth if they have braces. Soccer players wear shin guards, catchers wear helmets, athletes with braces wear mouth guards!

  3. Make sure you keep it clean! While mouth guards DO provide protection, they can also host a multitude of harmful bacteria - it's best to get a cleaner specifically designed for the guard b/c mouthwash can damage them (especially nice ones like a shock doctor) - check out Defense Sport, it's one of the best!

  4. I just asked my daughter where she kept her mouth guard. She said in the side pocket of her gym bag. We got her into the habit of wearing a mouth guard, now we need to get her into the habit of storing it properly and cleaning it. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Kids playing with braces can easily get cuts in their mouths when they play or do any activities, I suggest using a mouth piece. Thanks.

  6. The player must always feel comfortable with what their wearing, this is why you always have to wear what fits you most.




Related Posts with Thumbnails