It’s the time of year when kids are back at school, and all the at-school and after-school sports are kicking off! You wouldn’t consider letting your child play soccer without shin guards, ski without a helmet or play football without shoulder pads, so it’s important to ensure your child is also protecting their face and teeth!
The American Dental Association (ADA) has actively promoted the use of mouth guards in sports for more than 20 years. Because dental injuries are common in contact sports or recreational activities where collisions are possible, the ADA supports mouth guards as a preventative measure to protect the face, jaw, mouth, and teeth.
The ADA states that “a properly fitted mouth guard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries.”
Mouth guards are plastic dental appliances that kids bite into and are worn over the teeth. The mouth guard protects the teeth, cheeks, gums, and lips from injury. This soft, resilient plastic can distribute forces of impact and protect from injury to the soft and hard tissues. This can include lacerations, disjointed jaws, and even loss of teeth.
Options for mouth guards include stock mouth guards, which are inexpensive but can be poorly fitting. Stock mouth guards can be uncomfortable as the sizing is generic. Another option is the “boil and bite” mouth guard available at sporting goods stores. These are a little more expensive and can be molded. The guard is boiled, let to cool a bit, and then put in your child’s mouth where they bite down to create a shape.
Custom fitted mouth guards are the best fitting option and are what the professional athletes use. They are more expensive but provide exceptional comfort, which is important as you want your child to wear the mouthguard!
Custom mouth guards are fitted by your dentist. An impression is made of the mouth including all teeth shapes, contours, mouth roof, and gum line. Depending on the sport your child participates in, custom mouth guards are available in heavy duty and slimmer styles. While research is limited, mouth guards may also help protect against concussions.
If your child is playing sports at school or in a recreational or competitive league, contact us! We offer custom-fitted mouth guards that deliver a personalized fit that protects, makes it easy to talk, and does not prohibit breathing. Your child can be protected while they focus on winning the game!