AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

83456287098 Mouth Guard 300x229 A Parents Guild To Buying The Right Mouth Guard For parents of active kids, the calendar always seems packed with one sports practice after another. Spring soccer practice gives away to a summer full of baseball or softball, while fall brings on football as the winter winds down the year with basketball, volleyball, and hockey.

When not spending their time driving kids from practice to practice, most parents find themselves constantly worrying their child will suffer some kind of physical injury during a game or match, especially when it comes to head trauma. While concussions and broken bones remain a very real threat to a child’s health, parents also need to concern themselves with how to protect their child’s teeth from damage sustained while playing sports.

Potential Risks

Children and adults can suffer a variety of oral health injuries when playing sports that include chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked out teeth. Depending on the age of child, these types of injuries can cause permanent damage to a child’s oral health, especially if they have already developed all of their permanent teeth. It’s not just the parents of kids who play contact sports like football or field hockey that need to worry about oral health injuries either.

A survey of participating athletes in the recent Pan American World Games discovered that approximately 50 percent of all participants showed signs of having suffered a tooth fracture while either training or competing. While the most common sports to exhibit this type of injury were those involving contact, such as basketball, boxing, and karate, even those athletes who participated in non-contact sports like skiing or skating also showed signs of damage.

Fortunately, parents can take the necessary precautions to protect their child’s oral health through the use of a mouth guard.

Types of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards look like U-shaped plastic mold that fits protectively around your child’s upper teeth. Mouth guards perform the dual function of protecting your child’s teeth from blunt trauma, such as a blow to the face, and offering cushioning in case the upper and lower jaw should slam shut.

While most amateur sports now require children to wear some kind of mouth guard, dentists recommend that kids wear a mouth guard while participating in any kind of sport to help prevent dental injury. However, not all mouth guards offer a child’s teeth the same level of protection. To help you find the right fit for your child, here’s what you need to know about the different types of mouth guards available.

  • Stock mouth guards. The type of prefabricated mouth guard bought off the shelf, stock mouth guards offer the lowest level of protection, but their bulky, inflexible shape can make breathing difficult for some children. Additionally, this type of mouth guard is often sold in either child or adult sizes, which can make finding the right fit for a child who falls in the middle. These types of guards are sold at most sporting goods stores and are relatively inexpensive.
  • Boil-and-Bite. A better choice for children in the middle of a growth spurt and those who are currently losing baby and gaining adult teeth, boil-and-bite guards are constructed from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated in boiling water. Once cooled, but while still soft, children then bite down on the guard, which then custom molds itself to the current shape of their mouth. Boil-and-bite guards also feature the advantage of being less bulky and more comfortable than prefabricated guards, while costing only slightly more.
  • Custom made mouth guards. Constructed by your dentist, custom guards are made from molds of your child’s teeth, which are then copied to ensure a precise fit. Custom guards offer by far the most protection to your child’s teeth, but do cost significantly more than store bought alternatives. However, since custom guards are made to fit a child’s teeth exactly, parents of young children or those who have yet to develop all of their permanent teeth may want to wait before purchasing a set.
  • Orthodontic mouth guards. For children undergoing an orthodontic correct, your dentist or orthodontist can provide a lose fitting mouth guard that provides enough room to fit over your child’s braces, while still offering protection and support.

Image source by
About the author: A freelance writer, Timothy Lemke learned about mouth guard options for his kids from Dr. Jeromy Dixon, a dentist in WA.


Leave a Reply