If your little one plays contact sports like soccer, football, or basketball, or enjoys hobbies like skateboarding and riding on scooters, you may be wondering if you should get them a sports mouth guard. The answer is a resounding “yes!” In this article from The Little Royals: Dentistry For Kids, we’ll explain why sports mouth guards are so important for protecting your child’s mouth.
If your child is accidentally hit while playing a contact sport, slips and falls, or experiences any other kind of dental trauma, a sports mouth guard is the best way to protect their mouth from serious dental injuries.
Common injuries from sports and active hobbies include cracked and broken teeth, loose teeth, and knocked-out teeth, as well as lacerations to the gums and cheeks, and soft tissue trauma from biting the tongue.
Mouth guards help prevent these injuries, and are extremely effective. They cushion the impact of a blow to your child’s mouth, spreading it evenly throughout the gums and teeth, and reducing the risk of a serious injury. The mouth guard also covers up the teeth, which helps prevent your child from biting their tongue or cutting their mouth after being hit or falling.
Just how effective are sports mouth guards for kids? A study from the ADA found that kids who wear sports mouth guards are 60x less likely to experience a serious dental injury while playing sports, compared to athletes who did not wear any kind of mouth protection.
There are two primary types of sports mouth guards available. You can choose between custom-fitted mouth guards made by a dentist like Dr. Sal or Dr. Yasi Colombo, or “boil and bite” mouth guards that you can buy from most pharmacies and stores.
As you may already have guessed from the name, “boil and bite” sports mouth guards use a one-size-fits-all design with a soft, heat-activated plastic. You’ll place the mouth guard into hot water for a few seconds or minutes to allow it to heat up and become soft. Then, you’ll put the guard into your child’s mouth and they’ll bite down. Then, the plastic will cool and harden somewhat, leaving behind an impression of your child’s teeth.
In contrast, custom-fitted mouth guards are designed using a mold of your child’s teeth, so they conform more closely to your child’s mouth. They are often built from a combination of soft and hard plastics, which helps cushion the teeth while providing maximum protection from traumatic oral injuries.
Overall, custom-fitted mouth guards are more comfortable, which helps ensure your child will actually wear their sports mouth guard. They also provide superior protection, and it’s easier for your child to breathe properly while wearing a custom-fitted mouth guard.
So, while it’s better for your child to wear a “boil and bite” mouth guard compared to not wearing a mouth guard at all, a custom-built mouth guard from The Little Royals: Dentistry For Kids will be a better overall choice for protecting their teeth.
Dr. Sal and Dr. Yasi Colombo are experts in pediatric dentistry in Jupiter, Abacoa, and the surrounding areas. If you have an active child and you want to make sure they protect their smile while playing sports and enjoying their hobbies, a custom-fitted sports mouth guard from The Little Royals: Dentistry For Kids is a great option. Contact us online for a consultation or give us a call at (561) 510-1450 to get started, and make sure your child gets the protection they need to keep their teeth safe!