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How to Persuade Your Budding Wicket-Keeper to Wear a Mouthguard

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Wearing sports mouthguards to protect your teeth may be a no-brainer for parents but getting kids to agree to wear them can be harder. This can be particularly difficult if your child plays a sport where not every member of the team needs mouthguard protection and/or wearing a mouthguard isn't mandatory.

For example, if your child has recently started playing cricket and has decided to keep wicket, then club rules may state that your child must wear a helmet with a face guard; however, wearing a mouthguard as well as a helmet may be optional. Your child may think that the helmet will give enough protection on its own, but you may want the extra security a mouthguard can give. How can you persuade your child to wear a mouthguard here?

Explain Things Rationally

Telling kids to do something may not be the most persuasive way to get them to do what you want, especially when they get older. Rather than force a mouthguard on your child, it's better to explain why wearing a guard as well as a helmet is a good idea for wicket-keepers.

So, for example, try emphasising what a mouthguard can do that a wicket-keeping helmet can't. For example, if your child gets hit by a fast-ball, then a helmet may well prevent the ball from chipping or breaking teeth. As well as giving additional protection to the teeth, adding a mouthguard to the mix could also help prevent impact injuries such as accidental biting of the lips, tongue or cheeks.

Get Your Coach on Side

Kids may roll their eyes and switch off when their parents tell them to do something because it's good for them, but they are generally much more open to getting the same advice from other people. If your child's cricket coach tells your child that a wicket-keeper should wear a mouthguard, then your child may simply accept this as gospel. Even if you can't get your coach to say that a mouthguard is essential, getting the coach to say it's a good idea might be enough.

Enlist Your Dentist

Chances are, your dentist will 100% agree with you on the mouthguard issue and will be happy to talk to your child about the benefits of sports mouthguards. Your dentist is also likely to have treated kids with sports injuries who didn't wear mouthguards—hearing gory details about things that have actually happened may be the final piece in the jigsaw that convinces your child to agree to wearing a mouthguard.

Tip: Your child may be more likely to wear a mouthguard if you have your dentist make a custom guard rather than buying an off-the-shelf product. Custom guards tend to fit better and feel more comfortable than off-the-shelf options. Your child may also have more choice of colour and design with a customised mouthguard.