Everyone loves to watch their children be active and play sports. Being active is great for their physical and mental health. But it does come with inherent risks that may lead to losing a tooth.
Much like wearing shin guards, shoulder pads, or helmets helps to protect your child’s body from trauma or injury, mouthguards protect your child’s teeth and mouth. Naturally, you want to keep your child from any pain or discomfort. But you also want to avoid any major dental costs associated with sports injuries.
What Is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a piece of soft, plastic-like material that covers all of your teeth (top or bottom) and helps to protect your mouth from injury. Since the guard spreads across your teeth, it reduces the results of an impact on the face, potentially avoiding damage altogether. Your teeth, as well as your gums, jaw, and the rest of your mouth, receive cushioning from facial trauma.
Why Get a Mouthguard?
While sports bring a lot of joy and fun, they also carry the potential for harm. Athletes at all levels and ages should wear a mouthguard to protect their mouths and teeth.
Contact sports hold the highest potential for dental injury, and wearing a mouthguard is proven to reduce the risk of sustaining a painful and costly injury. Even action sports or team sports with the chance of incidental contact can carry the potential for dental injuries.
Nearly one-third of sports injuries are related to the mouth and face, but many of these injuries could be less severe or avoided entirely with the use of a mouthguard. Luckily, a mouthguard is a cheaper option to protect your teeth. While the most effective choice is a custom-fit mouthguard from your dentist, there are still a few store-bought selections that can offer some protection to your teeth and mouth.
How Can My Child Get a Mouthguard?
Depending on the type of mouthguard you choose, you will need to make sure that it fits properly in your child’s mouth. There are pre-made mouthguards like a traditional boil and bite or a stock.
A stock mouthguard is essentially a one-size one-shape fits-all guard; however, it only offers mild protection compared to other choices. As the name suggests, a boil and bite refers to a guard placed into boiling water. This softens it so that you can mold it to your teeth. It offers a bit more protection than the stock mouthguard.
Your best option is a mouth guard that is custom-made by your dentist. It may be a higher cost than the other two, but the comfort and protection are worth it.
Your child’s dentist will take an impression of their mouth and mold a mouthguard that is customized to them. However, any mouthguard molded to your mouth will provide the best amount of protection and a comfortable fit.