What are athletic mouth protectors?
Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic. They are adapted to fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth.
Why are mouth guards important?
Mouth guards hold top priority as sports equipment. They protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, jaw bone and tongue. They help protect children from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are.
Whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball and soccer.
How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard. So, choose a mouth guard that your child can wear comfortably. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech, it will be left in the locker room.
You can select from several options in mouth guards:
- Preformed or “boil-to-fit” mouth guards are found in sports stores. Different types and brands vary in terms of comfort, protection, and cost. These are the least expensive but are also the least effective in preventing injuries.
- Customized mouth guards are provided through your pediatric dentist. They cost a bit more, but are more comfortable, are thicker and much more shock absorbent and are more effective in preventing injuries. They are worth the increased cost compared to the boil and bite guards.
Dr. Katherine L. Roll can advise you on what type of mouth guard is best for you.