Sports are a fun way to keep your kids healthy and active. Mouth guards protect your children’s teeth (and orthodontic appliances) when they’re participating in sports where there is risk of injury to the mouth or head.
What is a sports mouth guard?
Mouth guards are soft plastic appliances shaped to fit the upper teeth. They protect teeth, of course, but they also protect the whole mouth, and other parts of the face, such as the cheeks, lips, and gums. Mouth guards also help prevent serious head injuries like jaw fractures and concussions.
What sports require mouth guards?
At SmileTown Burnaby, we recommend mouth guards for any sport in which your child’s head might come into contact with equipment or with other players.
When playing contact sports like football, boxing, or hockey, sports mouth guards should definitely be worn, but they should also be considered for sports with less physical contact, like soccer, basketball, or even tennis.
If your child is playing a sport in which there’s a chance at all a head or facial injury, then a mouth guard should be a standard part of the equipment.
What type of mouth guard does my child need?
Mouth guards come in 3 main types:
Stock Mouth Guards
Stock mouth guards are pre-formed ready to wear out of the box. You can buy them in almost any sporting goods store or department store, and they are the least expensive of the 3 options. They’re quite bulky, making them hard to fit, and they can cause difficulty breathing. Stock mouth guards also provide the least protection of the 3 options.
Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards
Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards are also readily available at department and sporting goods stores. They tend of offer a better fit and protection than stock protectors. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are made of thermoplastic materials that soften when placed in hot water, and can then be placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth.
Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards
These mouth guards are custom-made by a dentist and a dental laboratory to fit your child's mouth. The Burnaby children's dentist will begin by making an impression of your your child’s teeth. The mouth guard will be molded over this impression, using a special material. As a result of the materials and time involved in their manufacture, custom mouth guards are the most costly option, but they provide the best protection by far.