Studies show that wearing mouthguards in sports prevent dental Injury. Protecting your child’s mouth with a mouthguard (mouth protectors) during athletics should be part of the standard equipment for all ages. A child is 60 time more likely to suffer dental trauma if a dental mouthpiece is not worn during sports. It is estimated that the cost of replacing just one knocked out tooth is about 10 times the cost of buying a custom-fitted mouth guard.
A mouthguard is a device worn in the mouth while playing contact sports which help reduce the force of the blow to the face, thus reducing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Custom made mouthguards are especially needed in children with orthodontic appliances. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating. The mouthguard is considered as important as any piece of safety equipment in sports.
Three Main Types of Mouthguards
- Custom-fitted Mouthguards: The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. These custom-made appliances provide superior protection and do not interfere with breathing or speaking. However, these are usually more expensive, but because they are custom made they fit better.
- Stock Mouthguards: These are less expensive and can be purchased a sports store. They come pre-formed and ready to wear, but often don’t fit or function well.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards: Mouth-formed or “boil-and-bite” guards can be purchased at a sports store and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. These are heated in water and then bitten into by the person wearing them to mould around their teeth. While the fit may be better, it is difficult to control the thickness of the guard material due to the bite strength.
Mouth guards prevent dental injuries in children, but can cause mouth abrasions, cuts, and infection. Proper use and care of your mouthguard is extremely important. They should be sanitized daily and replaced every two weeks, or when they develop sharp or jagged edges, whichever occurs first.
To schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist, Dr. Steve Girdlestone, please phone 330-491-7777.