Mouth Guards from Dr. Blazer
Athletic mouth guards are important equipment for any child participating in contact sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, or basketball. Fitting snugly over the upper teeth, mouth guards protect the teeth from traumatic injury, preserving both the esthetic appearance and the health of the smile.
Most mouth guards are relatively inexpensive, making them a perfect investment for every parent. For younger children, whose mouths are changing rapidly due to baby tooth loss and adult tooth gain, store bought mouth guards are the best.
For older children such as high schoolers whole adult teeth are already in position, a custom mouth guard fabricated in a dental office is a more comfortable and better fitting.
What type of mouth guard should I purchase for my child?
Stock mouth guards – These mouth guards can be bought directly off the shelf and immediately fitted into the child’s mouth. The fit is universal (one-size-fits-all), meaning that that the mouth guard doesn’t adjust. Stock mouth guards are very cheap, easy to fit, and quick to locate at sporting goods stores. Pediatric dentists favor this type of mouth guard least, as it provides minimal protection, obstructs proper breathing and speaking, and tends to be uncomfortable.
Boil and bite mouth guards – These mouth guards are usually made from thermoplastic and are easily located at most sporting goods stores. First, the thermoplastic must be immersed in hot water to make it pliable, and then it must be pressed on the child’s teeth to create a custom mold. Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive than stock mouth guards, but tend to offer more protection, feel more comfortable in the mouth, and allow for easy speech production and breathing.
Customized mouth guards – These mouth guards offer the greatest degree of protection, and are custom-made by the dentist. First, the dentist makes an impression of the child’s teeth using special material, and then the mouth guard is constructed over the mold. Customized mouth guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable, orthodontically correct, and fully approved by the dentist. These are more appropriate for teenagers whose adult teeth are already erupted.
How Can Mouth Guards Protect my Child?
Many sports organizations now require participants to routinely wear mouth guards. Though mouth guards are primarily designed to protect the teeth, they can also protect the jaw and skull by absorbing the impact if the teeth slam together during an injury. In this way, mouth guards help minimize the risk of traumatic brain injury, which is especially important for younger children.
Mouth guards also reduce the occurrence and severity of the following injuries:
Lip, Cheek, or Tongue Injuries
Gum and soft tissue injuries
If you have questions or concerns about choosing a mouth guard for your child, please contact our Scottsdale office.