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How to Keep Your Kids Safe with Mouth Guards

How to Keep Your Kids Safe with Mouth Guards

Mouth guards prevent teeth injury by absorbing the shock of a blow or fall during a game.


School is about to begin, and you’ve taken care of school supplies, doctor and dentist appointments, and after-school activities. But there’s one thing you might be forgetting: a mouth guard for your child that plays sports. Mouth guards are crucial to protect teeth from sports-related injuries. Sports-related injuries to the teeth include and are not limited to concussions, jaw fractures, tooth fractures, teeth getting displaced or knocked out, and tooth infection. The treatment for these conditions can be extensive and expensive.

Luckily, properly-fitted mouth guards prevent these injuries by absorbing the shock from a fall or a blow and thus protecting the teeth, lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. The American Dental Association recommends a properly-fitted mouth guard for the following activities:

  • Contact/Collision sports: Basketball, boxing, football, handball, hockey (ice and field), lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, soccer, water polo, wrestling
  • Limited-contact and other sports: Acrobatics, baseball, bicycling, equestrian events, field events, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, softball, gymnastics, squash, surfing, in-line skating, racquetball, volleyball, weight lifting, shot putting, “extreme sports”

Types of Mouth Guards Kids Can Wear for Sports

These mouth guards can be placed on the upper teeth only, or both the upper and lower teeth. 

  1. Ready-made guards. These are available over-the-counter at most sporting goods stores like Dicks Sporting Goods. ADA recommends you choose one that has the ADA seal of acceptance. There are various mouth guards that can be used with or without braces, and with or without straps that go around the child’s helmet.




  2.  
  3. Custom-made guards. These are custom-fit for you at your dentist’s office. This the best mouth guard, as it fits the child’s teeth the best, but will be the most expensive option.
     


    3. Boil-and-bite mouth guards. These fit better than the ready made mouth guards and are softened by boiling, then cooled to place in the mouth. The Sisu is a variation of the boil-and-bite that can be used with braces, but needs to be fitted by your child’s orthodontist.

Boil-and-bite guard

 

Sisu guard

 

Remember, the best mouth guard is one that is used!

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