If you’re like most parents, enrolling your child in sports is a must. Once they turn the age of 5, it’s time to fit them for skates, cleats, helmets. After all you want your kid to wear equipment that won’t just fit but will prevent severe injuries. One part of the body that doesn’t receive enough attention when it comes to protection is their mouth and teeth. Hockey parents seem to have this one figured out far more than those registering their children in other sports. This is more of a reactive measure as taking a puck to the face can cause more than just a bloody nose. A mouth guard is an inexpensive piece of equipment that is worth its weight in gold and can save you from outrages bills.
At one time, wearing a mouth guard seemed silly or at the very least overkill. Professional athletes like Stephen Curry and have changed this mindset in both children and adults. I mean, it makes sense. We all tend to mimic the way role models play and look, mouth guard included. What we shouldn’t mimic is chewing on the mouth guard like so many athletes do. It reduces the lifespan and effectiveness of the device.
Different Types of Mouth Guards
There are generally 3 different types of mouth guards. There are also 3 different prices for each.
Stock: These are ready-made. You simply place the appliance in your mouth and use it “as is.”
Boil-and-Bite: These are made from materials that are resilient under normal conditions but become flexible when heated. You place this type of mouth guard into very hot water until it softens, and then bite into it so it will take the shape of your mouth and fit more closely over your teeth.
Custom: These are prescribed and fitted by a dental professional. The process involves making a model of your teeth and then molding the material around the dental model to ensure a close and comfortable fit.
What Happens If You Don’t Wear a Mouth Guard?
Well, it’s never fun having an injured kid, but what’s even less fun is when the kid suffers an injury that they can’t walk off like a scrape or bruise. Sustaining an injury to the mouth can result in serious harm. Players who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth this way during competition, and a tooth injury of this nature can cause various long-term problems. Whether that’s from absorbing impact of a ball, puck, stick, floor, or opponent, it can leave anyone’s mouth in a precarious position. Chipped/cracked teeth intrusion (knocked back into jawline) or teeth being completely knocked out, biting tongue, and fractured roots.
How to Clean a Mouth Guard
- Keep the mouth guard in a case when not in use. Clean case using soap every week and rinse well.
- Denture/retainer cleaning tablets. Drop one in a glass of water and let mouth guard sit in glass for 10 minutes.
- Clean your mouth guard once a day
- Replace mouth guard every year
Where to Buy a Mouth Guard?
“Stock” and “Bite-and-Boil” can be purchased at Walmart, Sports check, Amazon, and majority of other retailers.
“Custom Made” can be created by your dental professional to ensure accurate tailored dimensions.
Stroud Dental can make one that’s custom fit for kids that will prevent an additional visit under worse circumstances. Stroud Dental promotes physical fitness and physical health but can’t stray too far away from their bread and butter, oral care.
Nonathletic Mouth Guards
Even if you’re not planning on enrolling your kid in sports, investing in a mouth guard has major benefits for them. Wearing a mouth guard at night can help improve, prevent, and reduces several oral health concerns.
- Teeth cracking
- Headaches caused by tension in the jawline
- Sleep Apnea
- Muscle fatigue
- Breathing and overall sleep.
- Teeth alignment in a less restrictive way then braces or a retainer does
- Teeth grinding
- Wear and tear of teeth and enamel
Whether it’s for your kid or you, a mouth guard can be such a small, yet, very impactful purchase in your life. Even if you don’t think you or your child needs one, giving it a try could solve issues you didn’t know you had. Contact Stroud Dental for more information about getting yourself or your kid a mouth guard for sleeping or exercising.