Playing sports is a great way for children to learn how to cooperate with others while also staying physically active. Unfortunately, these activities carry the risk of injuries, including damage to teeth. If you have a child who participates in sports, wearing a mouthguard is an effective way to reduce these risks.
Certain types of sports that involve a significant amount of physical contact, such as football, have a higher risk of leading to dental injuries; these include having teeth knocked out or broken. Although mouthguards lower the risk of these injuries, it’s important to ensure that they fit properly. Understanding which type of mouthguard is best for your child can help you make sure that you choose the right one.
Types of Mouthguards
There are a few different types of mouthguards available for children to wear while playing sports. These include stock or pre-formed mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards and custom fit mouthguards.
Stock mouthguards are the most cost-effective type, but it’s important to note that they only come in certain sizes. This does not guarantee a proper fit, which means that your child’s teeth might not be fully protected from being injured. These mouthguards can also be uncomfortable for children to wear and even make it hard to talk.
Boil and bite mouthguards are ones that have to be heated up before being worn. When this type of mouthguard is warm enough, your child bites down on it; this creates an imprint of your child’s teeth and helps it stay in place. A boil and bite mouthguard provides more protection than a stock mouthguards, and it does not cost much more. As long as this type of mouthguard stays securely in your child’s mouth during sports, it is effective to lowering the risk of injuries.
Custom fit mouthguards are ones that dentists make to fit children’s teeth. If you get this type of mouthguard, the dentist will make an impression of your child’s teeth first, then use it to create a custom mouthguard. This type of mouthguard ensures a proper fit since it is based on an impression of your child’s teeth. If it does not fit properly or comfortably, the dentist can adjust it as needed. This type of mouthguard offers the highest amount of protection, but it is also the most expensive.
Choosing a Mouthguard
When it comes to selecting a mouthguard, keep in mind that custom fit ones will provide the most protection from a tooth injury. Although they cost more than other types, it’s important to remember that injured or lost teeth cost more to repair or replace. These mouthguards are also the most comfortable to wear, so you shouldn’t have a hard time getting your child to wear one.
April is National Youth Sports Safety Month! If your children participate in team sports and exercise, which are great for them, make sure they have proper protection so they can enjoy playing for many years without being injured. Contact us at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about mouthguards.