It’s back to school time. As your child gets ready for the new season, don’t forget about their mouth. Fall sports are on the way and it’s important to have a mouth guard at all times when playing rough games of football or soccer, or even just practicing in gym class. A mouth guard will protect against injuries that could be caused by chipped teeth, jaw damage, or concussions from blows to the head with an elbow or other hard object like a ball. Without protection you may find your child complaining of headaches after practice, struggling in school because they can’t concentrate well enough without pain relief medication; feeling embarrassed about wearing braces; missing out on social events because they’re self-conscious of their smile; and so on. Mouth injuries are no joke and they can cost you thousands of dollars in dental bills if not treated properly, or worse yet– could leave your child with lifetime damage that is irreparable because the injury was untreated for too long. Make sure to keep a mouth guard around at all times so that there’s nothing preventing them from playing sports this season.
Types of Mouth Guard
There are three types of mouth guards you can purchase:
- Stock Mouth Guards (cheap and disposable): These do not fit the shape of your child’s teeth, but they’re easy to find in any store. They come as small, medium or large sizes that will cover the upper front teeth only; however, if your child has braces, you will want to find a mouth guard that covers upper and lower teeth.
- Custom Mouth Guards (more expensive, but long-lasting): These are made by taking impressions of your child’s teeth at our office so they fit perfectly for their size/shape. They’re great because there are no uncomfortable clips or bands on them; however the downside is that they take longer to make.
- Boil-and-bite mouth guards Made by softening in boiling water and placed in the mouth to shape.
How Can You Get a Mouth Guard?
If you’re looking for stock mouth guards, most sporting goods stores sell them in packages of 12 so if your kid loses one or two it won’t be too expensive to replace. You can get custom mouth guards through your dentist or orthodontist. If you want to avoid the hassle of waiting for an appointment, there are many online retailers that will ship a stock fit-to-your child’s teeth within two weeks and also offer discounts on bulk packages if you’re buying more than one at a time.
When Should You Replace Your Mouth Guard?
If you’re looking to buy a custom mouth guard, it’s important that the dentist or orthodontist making them fits your child for one. They should be able to take an impression of their teeth and send it off to create a permanent mold so they know exactly what size, shape and style is right for them. It’s also important to keep an eye on the condition of your child’s mouth guard and replace it every season if they’re playing a sport where there is constant contact with other players. The cheaper stock models can be replaced as often as needed– just make sure that you have back-ups in case one gets lost or broken during practice!
The information provided on this website should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition and is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. If you think you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of a physician. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.