If you have a child who plays sports, a mouthguard is something you should consider using to help ward off dental accidents. Football, hockey (field and ice), basketball, lacrosse and even track & field are school-based sports in which participants are recommended to use mouth protection. But many other sports and recreational activities, including baseball, gymnastics, soccer, and skateboarding, can result in dental injuries as well.
You should consider getting a mouthguard for your child even if the sport he or she participates in is not considered a “contact sport”. We discuss here the types of mouthguards available plus their benefits.
Why Your Child Needs a Mouthguard
The primary reason for a child wearing a mouthguard is to protect from injury. Estimates say that more than 25 percent of dental injuries treated in kids are connected with their participation in sports. Injuries, on their own, aren’t the only reason that using mouthguards are important. These protective devices can help to prevent avoidable dental expenses, guard against absences from school and save your child the pain of permanently losing a tooth.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three major types of mouthguards you can choose from when looking to protect your child’s teeth and gums while playing sports. There are diverse variants in each of these primary categories.
Also known as stock mouthguards, this type of protective device is very cheap but offers arguably the least amount of protection. They are ready-made and can be bought and used directly off the shelf. You usually have to clench it in your mouth, with this potentially making them uncomfortable and capable of causing speech and steady placement difficulty. Off-the-shelf mouthguards offer limited size range and dentists typically don’t recommend them.
Boil and Bite Mouthguards
These are an improvement on the stock varieties, although they are somewhat similar in that you can also buy them at sporting goods stores. The devices, which are fashioned with thermoplast material, are immersed in hot water, inserted into the mouth and formed around teeth using finger, tongue and biting pressure. Boil and bite mouthguards are the most popular on the market, but they still do not provide the best protection.
These are arguably the best type of mouthguards you can get for an active child who plays sports. As the name suggests, they are customized to fit the mouth and teeth of users and are typically obtainable from a dental office or at a laboratory on the instructions of Dr. Mjahed at our Monroe NC dental office.
The process of making a custom mouthguard for your child begins with the making of an impression or model of the teeth. The impression is then utilized to fabricate the protective device using special material to provide maximum protection. As a result of the level of work required and the quality of material, these mouthguards are typically more expensive than the other types.
Can a Child with Braces Use a Mouthguard?
If your child uses braces and plays sports, you may be wondering whether you can also get a mouthguard for such. Yes, he or she can use one. These protective devices may actually be more advisable for such children because a severe hit to the face can damage non-removable orthodontic devices.
You should consult with Dr. Mjahed to know about the best protection for your child. In the case of braces use, a mouthguard that covers the lower teeth may be the most suitable. The best mouthguard for your child is that which he or she can comfortably wear both during practice and for the main game.
Talk To Our Pediatric Dentist In Monroe NC
Preventing tooth decay in your child is simple provided you practice good oral health care from the beginning. Call the friendly staff at Monroe Family Dentistry at 704-753-0753 to schedule a visit with Dr. Mjahed today.
Custom Mouthguards At Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.