Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County I & II
Commack (631) 486-6364
Medford (631) 320-0880
Encouraging your children to play sports is a great way for them to learn the importance of teamwork and to stay active. But as a parent, you naturally might worry about your child’s health and safety–especially the safety of their little teeth. According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, between ten and 39 percent of all children’s dental injuries are sports related accidents.. Protect their tiny teeth by ensuring they always wear a mouthguard!
Why Are They Important?
Mouth guards absorb the energy caused by impact and can prevent or reduce injury to the teeth, jaw, lips, cheeks and tongue. They are especially effective in reducing the risk of losing a tooth. With that said, more than 84 percent of children don’t wear mouthguards during organize sports simply because they are not required to wear them. You can be proactive and protect your child from significant dental trauma that may also affect their appearance and self-confidence.

Types of Mouthguards

Your dentist can recommend the best type of mouthguard for your child, especially if he or she has braces that could cause further injury and/or be damaged upon impact. Here are the three main types of mouthguards you should consider for your child:
  • Custom mouth guards: Custom-fitted mouth guards are made by a dentist. An impression is taken of the mouth and then plastic is molded around the impression. Custom-made mouth guards provide the best protection and are the most comfortable to wear because they fit precisely in the mouth and are more likely to stay in place.
  • Boil and bite mouth guards: These mouth guards are molded to the mouth by boiling the guard in water and then allowing the wearer to bite down on the heated plastic. Although these offer a somewhat customized fit, boil and bite mouth guards are not as strong as custom mouth guards and do have a chance of bite-through problems.
  • Stock mouth guards: Stock mouth guards offer basic protection by fitting loosely over the teeth. These guards can make it difficult to breathe or speak because teeth must be clenched to keep the mouth guard in place, so typically aren’t the best choice when selecting a guard for your little one.

How to Care For Mouth Guards:

Mouth guards should be checked regularly for any changes or wear to see if they need to be replaced. They should be washed before and after use with toothpaste or mouthwash and a soft-bristle brush in order to avoid buildup of bacteria that could cause decay or infections of the mouth. Be sure to store them in a clean and sturdy container, and keep them out of direct sunlight or extreme heat.
If you have any questions about selecting the best mouthguard for your little athlete, give us a call. Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County offers a caring and compassionate approach to pediatric dentistry, ensuring our patients are comfortable at all times. To learn more about our practice visit us here, or give us a call at 631-320-0880 to schedule an appointment today!