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Mouth Guards and Spring Sports
Mar 21, 2023

Image via Pixabay by YasDo

Plan in Advance to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Safe

Spring is in the air! It’s time for baseball (or soccer), hot dogs, apple pie, and mouth guards! If your child plays sports of any kind, you know how important it is to have the proper equipment to prevent injuries. This can involve proper shoes, helmets, pads, and a mouth guard.

Mouth guards may not be on the list of required equipment (depending on the sport), but if you want your child to look great in team pictures (and selfies) they will need all of their teeth. Research shows that athletes who don’t use a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. Considering that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire, why wouldn’t you ensure that they have this basic piece of equipment?

ADA Advice

According to the American Dental Association, there are three types of mouth guards available. 

  1. Custom-made. These are the most highly recommended for best fit and comfort. They can be made by your dentist by taking a mold of your mouth during your regular dental visit. 
  2. Boil & Bite. As the name implies, you soften the mouth guard by boiling it, then place it in your mouth and bite down to allow it to adapt to the shape of your mouth. These are better than stock mouth protectors, and are a good choice if you are unable to obtain a custom-made guard. Not all Boil & Bites are created equal, so be sure to look for one that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  3. Stock. These mouth guards are inexpensive, but they are pre-formed and ready to wear so they are not likely to fit well. While they do provide some protection, they can be bulky and make breathing and talking difficult. In addition, they can cause headaches, jaw pain, tooth and gum pain, and mouth soreness.

Mouth Guard Care

Like any dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouth guard between uses. Keeping it clean and dry prevents bacteria that can cause bad breath and infections from growing. 

  • Rinse and brush your mouthguard before and after every use.
  • Regularly clean it in cool soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Bring it to your next dental appointment for an evaluation to detect wear and tear.
  • Store it in a container that has vents to keep it dry and free from bacteria.
  • Never leave it in the sun or in hot water.
  • Check the fit often for signs of wear.
  • Keep it away from Rover. Pets seem to think that mouth guards make marvelous chew toys.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that you’ve done your best to protect your child from injury is worth whatever you might spend on this simple piece of sports equipment. Whether it’s football, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, or mountain biking, any sport has the potential to cause soft-tissue injuries, broken teeth, misalignment, or tooth loss. Just look at that beautiful smile!  Why risk it? 

Call the Dental Care Center today!