Mouth Guard for Sports: Game On!
As the leaves begin to change and fall approaches, we enter the season that both kids and parents often refer to as sports season. This nostalgic time of year is often marked by tailgating, cookouts, trophies, and of course lots and lots of cheering. However in this season of high energy fun and competitive spirit, taking the necessary precautions to ensure your child’s safety is an absolute must!
While a bit pricey at times, many parents will spare no expense in making sure their children have all the required protective gear; such as proper shoes or cleats, knee and elbow pads, and any additional equipment. Although gathering all the required gear may prove to be a bit challenging, there is one particularly important piece of equipment that cannot be overlooked; this of course is a mouth guard for sports.
Mouth Guard for Sports: Accidents Happen
While this will vary considerably depending on your child’s chosen sport, rough and tumble action is a pitfall of almost any sport. As you can imagine, this may lead to accidents and or injuries. While a mouth guard is considered mandatory by many sports today, their overall importance can be easy to overlook.
The primary purpose of a mouth guard is to cushion an impact to the face and jaw, thereby helping prevent or reduce the likelihood of broken teeth or oral injuries. Because the top row of teeth generally take the brunt of the trauma upon impact, the basic mouth guard is primarily designed to protect the upper teeth by covering them. It is a good idea to get your child used to using a mouth guard while participating in sports at an early age. Using a mouth guard should be absolutely essential for teenage athletes as their intensity and overall competitiveness is often much greater.
It should also be noted that it is especially important for a child or teenage athlete with braces to use a mouth guard while competing. Impact may cause damage to the appliance, in addition to causing painful cuts or abrasions within the mouth.
Related Article: Benefits of Wearing a Mouth Guard – Dental Health for the Active
Mouth Guard for Sports: Three Types
As you probably realize, there are several different types of mouth guards available, and the overall effectiveness of mouth guards may vary greatly depending on the type purchased.
Stock guards are the most basic type of mouth guard available, and are available at most sporting goods stores. While relatively cheap and easy to come by, many dentists and athletic coordinators do not recommend using stock guards. The pre-formed guards are often bulky and ill-fitting, providing only minimal protection.
Boil and Bite Guards:
Another basic, but certainly more efficient mouth guard is the classic boil and bite guard. Like the stock guards, boil and bite guard (or B&B guard) is readily available at most sporting goods stores. However unlike the stock guard the B&B guard can be shaped to better fit the user’s mouth. As its name implies, the guard is softened in boiling water, then inserted in to the user’s mouth and adjusted to the individual bite pattern. While the B&B guard is sometimes an efficient solution, the rubbery material used to create the guards is often prone to wear and tear and may eventually need to be replaced.
Custom Dental Guards:
A custom-made dental mouth guard, as one can imagine, are by far the most effective and efficient of the three mouth guard types. They are created personally for the user by Dr. Kimes. Although more expensive than the aforementioned options, using professional grade material the custom mouth guard is considerably stronger and more durable than the basic mouth guards. In addition, providing an easier and overall more comfortable fit.
To receive one of these specially designed custom guards, you must schedule an appointment to see Charles R. Kimes, DDS at Overland Park Dentistry. While this may seem somewhat inconvenient, remember by investing in the best protection available now, you may be saving both yourself and your child from much more trouble and expense later if such an accident were to occur!
You should know that there are other reasons for needing a mouth guard … do you clench your teeth or grind your teeth at night? If so, you may want to get additional information that could help you (or your spouse)! Read “Don’t Stress … Get a Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding” and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimes.
Mouth Guard for Sports: Safety First!
In a season of sporting events and fun with family and friends, clearly there is much to do; however, taking the time to ensure that your little athlete has the correct amount of protection is without doubt the necessary first priority. So remember although a seemingly small and easy-to-overlook detail, making sure that your child’s smile is properly protected by a mouth guard is an absolute must!
The sports season is a time that’s sure to put smiles on kids’ faces and we at Overland Park Dentistry want to keep it that way! So find the right mouth guard for your kiddo, and trust us when we say that a little extra protection may go a long way in keeping both you and that little athlete of yours smiling!