It is estimated that 25-50% of all sporting injuries are dental injuries. They include concussion of teeth, subluxation, chipped or broken teeth, lacerations to the mouth, bleeding gum and avulsion.
Protection against such sporting injuries is particularly important for children whose teeth are still developing. Sustained at a young age, such injuries can develop into bigger problems in adulthood, such that may even require extensive surgical intervention.
To save an expensive emergency trip to the dentist – and a costly dental crown or implant – all your kid really needs is a simple mouth guard.
Custom-made dental mouth guards conform precisely to the teeth and gums, which provide optimal protection to teeth during contact sports. What’s more, they allow you to speak and breathe clearly during sports games.
Types of Mouth Guards for your sporty champ
There are three basic types of sporty mouthguards – Stock; Boil and Bite; and Custom-fitted.
Stock mouth guards are those you purchase from a sports store such as Rebel Sports. Although these are inexpensive pre-formed mouth protectors that you can readily find, they are unfortunately not designed to match the dimensions of your mouth. Hence they only offer minimal protection and usually do not fit very well.
Next is the “boil and bite” mouth guards. Also found at your local athletic store, this type of mouth guards allows a better fit as they conform to the shape of your mouth. However, they do not conform to the teeth or mucosa well. As the name suggests, the user has to boil the guard in water so that it becomes soft and conforms to their teeth using tongue and biting pressure.
The Dentist’s Choice
Finally, we have the dentist-administered, custom-fitted mouthguards that are fabricated based on simple impressions of your upper and lower teeth.
Taken using alginate materials, these impressions are used to pour up plaster models. From these models the custom made mouthguards can either be formed with pressure or vacuum forming machines. The fabricated mouthguards are then trimmed to size and usually articulated to ensure the bite is taken into consideration.
Although the most expensive among the three options, custom-fitted mouthguards allow a precise fit based on exacting impressions taken by your dentist.
They are highly recommended for the oral care of children who wear braces or those who have undergone extensive dental work.
One for the Sporting Kit
Sporty mouthguards are also becoming a fashionable wearable. There are many different colours and patterns to choose from – very often, colours are usually chosen to match the team uniforms.
These protective mouth protectors are routinely used by sporty children and teens who engage in the following: Football, volleyball, basketball, handball, hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding, snowboarding, rugby, skiing, weight-lifting, martial arts and gymnastics.
Wearing a custom-made mouthguard is essential for most contact sports and even during training. A custom made mouthguard does not interfere with breathing, and therefore is less of a hindrance to your kid’s sporting performance as compared to boil and shape mouthguards.
To avoid or reduce trauma to teeth and surrounding tissues, consider adding the custom-made mouthguard to your child’s sporting kit.