It can be frustrating for parents to see their child gagging on their mouthguard during sports or other physical activities. While it may seem like a simple issue, there can be several reasons why a 7-year-old may be experiencing this discomfort. In this article, we will explore some of the potential causes and provide tips on how to address them.
Size and Fit
The first and most obvious reason why a child may gag on their mouthguard is that it is too big or does not fit properly. Mouthguards should be snug but not too tight, and they should not extend too far back into the mouth. If the mouthguard is too large, it can trigger the gag reflex and cause discomfort. It is important to ensure that the mouthguard is properly fitted by a dentist or sports professional.
Additionally, some children may simply be uncomfortable with having something in their mouth. In this case, it may be helpful to gradually introduce the mouthguard and allow the child to get used to the sensation before using it during physical activity.
Some children may have sensory issues that make them more sensitive to certain textures or sensations in their mouth. This can make wearing a mouthguard uncomfortable and trigger the gag reflex. If your child has sensory issues, it may be helpful to talk to an occupational therapist or other healthcare professional for guidance on how to address this issue.
Anxiety and Fear
In some cases, a child may gag on their mouthguard due to anxiety or fear. This can be especially common in children who have had negative experiences with dental procedures or who are generally anxious or fearful. In this case, it may be helpful to talk to the child about their fears and provide reassurance and support. It may also be helpful to work with a therapist or other healthcare professional to address any underlying anxiety or fear.
Another potential cause of gagging on a mouthguard is improper breathing. If a child is breathing through their mouth or not breathing properly during physical activity, this can cause discomfort and trigger the gag reflex. It is important to encourage proper breathing techniques and to ensure that the child is taking breaks as needed during physical activity.
In some cases, a child may be allergic to the material in their mouthguard. This can cause discomfort, irritation, and even a gag reflex. If you suspect that your child may be allergic to their mouthguard, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional and consider switching to a different type of mouthguard.
In rare cases, gagging on a mouthguard may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. For example, some children with acid reflux or other digestive issues may experience discomfort and gagging during physical activity. If you suspect that your child may have an underlying medical condition, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional for guidance.
Gagging on a mouthguard can be uncomfortable and frustrating for both children and parents. However, by identifying the potential causes and addressing them appropriately, it is possible to help children feel more comfortable and confident during physical activity. If you are unsure about the cause of your child’s gagging, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.