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Little League and the Importance of Mouth Guards

Why talk about Little League baseball on a dental website?  We will get to that.  Little league games are over for this year.  Did you know that September was National Little League Month?  Here’s a little history.

  • June 6, 2014, Little League celebrated its 75th anniversary
  • Little League was founded by Carl Stotz in 1938 in Williamsport, PA
  • “I wanted Little League to be just like the big leagues, but for little boys.”  Carl Stotz
  • Mr. Stotz created three teams so boys like his nephews, who were too young for organized baseball, could play.
  • The first field was 2/3 size of standard fields
  • The first teams were sponsored for $30.00 each by Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber and Jumbo Pretzel
  • The first game was played on June 6, 1939 at Park Point in Williamsport, PA
  • In the 1940’s, word spread and more communities wanted to form teams
  • Within ten years, Little League was now in several states and the Little League World Series was played
  • In 1942, the first no-hitter was pitched by Ed Younken
  • In August 2014, the Little League World Series was held in Goodlettsville, TN.  The USA lost to Japan with a score of 10-2 (11 and 12 year old boys)

It’s extremely important for children participating in sports, to use safety gear and mouth guards are an important part of this safety gear.  Sure, you may think of football and hockey as sports where mouth guards are essential–and they are—but baseball should also be included.  The importance of mouth guards in Little League cannot be overstated.

Some safety equipment for Little League baseball are batting helmets (worn at bat, running bases or waiting to bat), spikes with plastic cleats (not metal) and for the catcher, chest protector, shin guards, face mask.

Now, more about mouth guards.  There are several different kinds of mouth guards available for children.

  1. Stock guards:  These are very generic guards and you must pick a size that looks like it might fit your mouth.  These don’t work very well because of the poor fit.
  2. Boil and Bite:  These also come in several sizes, but are a step up from the stock mouth guards.  With the boil and bite, that’s exactly what you do:  you dip the guard in boiling water and then bite into the mold.
  3. Custom mouth guards:  These mouth guards are made in a dental office and fit your child’s teeth perfectly.  The dentist takes an impression and makes the guard from the impression model, which equals a perfect fit.  These are also fun for the kids because they can choose colors for their custom-made mouth guard or even have a logo or initials embedded in their mouth guard.

So many children playing Little League baseball are still not wearing mouth guards.  WHY???  Do parents think that injury couldn’t happen to their child?  Baseball can result in knocked out teeth–especially the front teeth.  If your child is playing baseball (or any contact sport), be sure to get them a mouth guard.  Not only get a mouth guard, but wear it!!

For other important information concerning your family’s oral health, go to:

Sheridan Dental
Sheridan Dental
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