Spring is in the air and that means soccer, baseball, lacrosse and other children’s sporting activities are in full swing. While participating in contact sports can be great for kids in terms of exercise, character development and more, it can present a danger to their dental health. That is, unless the proper protection is used to prevent dental traumas. Basically, if your child participates in a contact sport, he or she needs to wear a mouth guard to protect his or her teeth.
There are three different types of mouth guards including the following:
- Custom fitted
- Boil and bite
Custom fitted mouth guards are made specifically for you, by your dentist. This is the most expensive option but fits the best and may provide the best protection for the teeth. This is because it is custom-fitted to your specific mouth. Stock mouth guards can be purchased at most big box stores and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, often times they do not fit well, and can make breathing and talking difficult. Boil and bite mouth guards can be purchased at drug stores and most sporting goods stores. They are first softened in water (boiled) and then inserted and allowed to conform to the shape of your mouth. They provide a better fit than the stock mouth guards yet are less expensive than the custom mouth guards.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), custom-fitted mouth guards provided by dentists provide the best protection for teeth. However, boil and bite mouth guards are a more economical option and do provide some measure of protection. The important thing is for your child to wear some form of mouth guard to protect the teeth from trauma and injury. When teeth are lost, it causes problems with smiling, eating talking and your overall dental health. While there are good options for replacing lost teeth, they can be costly and labor intensive.
If your child is going to be participating in contact sports this spring, put a mouth guard on your list of equipment. You will be glad you did!
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