Now that warm weather is here, many people will be heading outside to enjoy the sunshine. For many, that means watching children’s sporting events or simply taking the kids to the park. No matter what the activity may be, there could be a threat to your child’s mouth – especially when the child is playing a contact sport.
No matter if the child has permanent or baby teeth, it is important to protect his or her mouth. Using a mouth guard may be the right option.
What Is a Mouth Guard?
True to its name, a mouth guard is a device that protects the mouth – the teeth, tongue, lips and gums. It looks similar to the mouth itself, as it is worn inside. Most guards will cover the upper teeth. If someone suffers a hit to the face, the guard will cushion that blow, minimizing the risk of the following:
- Broken teeth
- Jaw injuries
The reason these devices often cover the top teeth is because they are more exposed. Through protecting those, you can prevent an incident like teeth going through lips or biting the tongue.
Who Should Wear One?
The American Dental Association states that a mouth guard should be considered an essential piece of equipment for anyone who plays a contact sport. Just as you would put your kid in pads for football or shin guards for soccer, he or she should also have a mouth guard in.
Children who play non-contact sports can also benefit. For example, a gymnast could slip and hit his or her mouth on the beam. Therefore, you may want to consider a guard no matter what type of activity your child enjoys.
Types of Guards
Once you decide that your child should have a mouth guard in place, there are several different models you could choose. The first is a stock device that could be found at a sporting goods store. These are the most affordable option, though it may be difficult to find one that fits your child’s mouth.
There are also guards that can be molded to fit your child’s mouth. Many sports stores sell these “boil and bite” options that are softened in water and then placed in the mouth to adapt to the shape.
Lastly, there are custom-made options that your Charlotte dentist could make for your child. These will be the best fit and it gives you the opportunity to ask a professional questions about when and how these guards should be worn.