Active kids call for active safety. And while helmets, goggles and knee pads protect your kids’ bodies, it’s also important to protect their teeth. A mouth guard is an easy, reliable way to safeguard your child’s teeth during sports and play.
Mouth guards are especially crucial during contact sports such as football, hockey or boxing, where blows to the body and face are regular occurrences. But even non-contact sports, such as gymnastics, and recreational pastimes, such as skating or biking, pose a risk to the teeth.
In addition to cushioning your child’s teeth, using a mouth guard can prevent injury to the tongue, lips, face and jaw. Kids who wear dental braces should be especially careful to protect their mouths during physical activity.
A trip to the dentist can help you choose a mouthguard that’s right for your child. In general, there are three types of mouthguards to choose from:
- Stock Mouth Guards. These pre-made protectors can usually be bought wherever sporting equipment is sold. Most dentists do not recommend their use because they cannot be adjusted to your mouth and provide only limited protection.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards. Boil-and-Bite guards are softened with hot water and then molded over your child’s teeth. This somewhat custom fit leads to better protection and greater ease in talking and breathing. These are also available at most sporting goods stores.
- Custom Mouth Guards. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard designed specifically for your child’s teeth. These offer the best fit, comfort and protection, but may be more costly than store-bought varieties
Guest Writer-Dr. Mitra Evans is a South Bay dentist with a practice located at 23326 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. She can be reached at (310) 375-3939 or visit her website for more information at drevanstorrance.com.