Amanda Orvis, RDH
It’s that time of year again; our children are starting back to school and getting back into sports. Does your child play sports? Does your child wear an athletic mouthguard? Can you picture your child with a missing permanent tooth? It is very possible that if your child is in a contact sport or activity, that one or more of their teeth could become loose, become fractured, or even be knocked out from a direct impact to their mouth. A hit to the jaw can put a tremendous amount of pressure on our teeth which can cause traumatic damage to our smiles. Maybe we can help answer questions you may have about the pros and cons of athletic mouthguards.
A mouthguard is like a shock absorber, it takes away the brunt of the force upon impact. If you can diffuse the blow and evenly distribute the pressure through use of the mouthguard, then you can reduce the chances of injury and/or tooth loss.
Boil-and-Bite mouthguards can be bought through your local pharmacy or sporting goods store. These mouthguards can be formed to your teeth simply by boiling the plastic and biting down into the mouthguard while it is still warm.
Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and easily replaceable if your teeth are changing in position or shape (due to orthodontics or dental work).
Cons: Bulky, can become loose over time and need to be replaced, hard to speak while wearing it, and hard to disinfect as heat can distort the fit of the mouthguard.
Custom fit mouthguards can be made through your dental office. Dental impressions are taken to form models of your teeth, which are then used to fabricate the mouthguard specifically fit to your teeth.
Pros: Slimmer fit, fits very snuggly around your teeth and does not generally loosen with repeated use, easier to speak with, easily disinfected, and lasts significantly longer than other mouthguards.
Cons: More expensive than a boil-and-bite mouthguard, and they can take some time to receive the mouthguard due to the fabrication process.
There are several types, brands, custom and non-custom mouthguards to choose from, but no matter what type you choose always remember to remind your athlete to wear it. It cannot protect them if it is not being worn. Broken teeth or jaw damage can have lasting effects. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding mouthguards.
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