How to Persuade Kids to Wear Mouth Guards

Dentist Blog

While you and your dentist know that kids should wear mouth guards to protect their teeth when they're playing sports, your child may be less interested in the merits of mouth guards. If your child won't or can't remember to wear a mouth guard during sports practices or games, you may need to use your parental wiles to convince them that this is actually a good idea. How can you persuade a reluctant child to wear a mouth guard?

Target Your Tactics

Kids often think that they are invincible and that nothing bad will happen to them. They are also often very adept at ignoring parental advice on things they should do. While there is a thin line between explaining why wearing a mouth guard is essential and turning into a nag, you should take the time to explain why you want your child to wear a mouth guard.

Kids may be more likely to listen to you if you explain why wearing a mouth guard is essential. This isn't just about telling them what might happen if they have an accident; it's also about allowing them to make informed decisions for themselves by discussing the consequences.

For example, telling kids that they might lose teeth or get a jaw or neck injury if they don't wear a mouth guard may not engage them to actively want to wear one. Explaining that you can't grow a new tooth and that a facial or neck injury may put them out of the game for weeks or even months may be more effective.

Play a Ringer

If your efforts alone don't help convince your child of the merits of wearing a mouth guard, you can enlist outside help. For example, if they are at a game or watching sports on TV and their favourite player is wearing a mouth guard, point that out to them.

Your dentist may also a useful person to bring into the argument. Kids may listen to professionals more than their parents; dentists who have had to deal with the aftermath of sports accidents can also give your child an insight into what might happen when people refuse to wear their mouth guards. This may just scare your child enough to make a mouth guard look more viable.

Get the Coach on Your Side

Sometimes, kids won't wear mouth guards because none of their teammates wear them. They may feel a little wussy if they are the only one of their peers who wears a guard. Talk to the coach or to the head of sports if your child plays for the school. If you can convince the people who run teams to make mouth guard use mandatory, your child will be much happier wearing one.

Getting your child to wear a mouth guard may take some time. Bear in mind that this is less likely to happen if you nag or order your child to wear a mouth guard. You should also know when to pick your battles. For example, making your child wear a mouth guard to just kick a football around a park with a group of friends may embarrass them; however, even a reluctant mouth guard wearer may ultimately admit that wearing a guard is a good idea during a formal match.


8 June 2016

Dental Checkups: Preparing for Your Checkup

Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!