Athletic Mouth Guards
Unfortunately, dental injuries are common in sports. Fortunately, a properly-fitted mouth guard can reduce both the likelihood and severity of sports-related dental injuries.
As a result, the American Dental Association recommends the use of athletic mouth guards for participants in a wide variety of both contact sports (such as football and basketball) and non-contact sports (such as skiing and gymnastics).
There are several types of mouth guards:
This is the least expensive type of mouth guard. It comes pre-formed and can be purchased at retail establishments, such as sporting goods stores. Because stock mouth guards are only available in a limited range of sizes and are not adapted to the child’s mouth, they often do not fit very well and can make breathing and talking difficult. Research suggests that stock mouth guards are the least effective type of mouth guard.
Mouth-formed (Boil and Bite)
Boil and bite mouth guards are widely available at retail establishments such as sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth guards. They are softened in hot water and then placed into the child’s mouth and allowed to adapt to the shape of the mouth. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to achieve the best possible fit.
A custom-made mouth guard, fitted by your child’s dentist, offers the best protection for your child. They are more expensive than the other options but are custom-made using models of your child’s teeth to provide the best comfort, fit and protection.