Active children are healthy children, but kids who play contact sports like football or hockey stand a greater risk of injury to their teeth and mouth. Once your child has passed the sports physical to participate in their favorite activity, call your pediatric dentist to discuss the benefits of mouth guards.
What is a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards are dental appliances that help protect your child’s teeth, cheeks, gums, and tongue from dental trauma such as the kind caused by sports injuries. Mouth guards are also beneficial for children who grit or grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism. Anyone may need a mouth guard, but they’re especially important for children because they promote healthy habits and prevent damage to sensitive oral tissue. Your dentist may recommend one of several styles of mouth guard, depending on your child’s needs.
Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are categorized by function — one type for preventing sports injury and another for preventing bruxism. Still, your child may have the option of choosing between different styles of each, including:
Of the four, custom-fitted mouth guards feature the best fit and bring the most benefit. To fit your child for a custom mouth guard, your dentist will take an impression of your child’s teeth. This impression is then fabricated to create a mouth guard that exactly matches the inside of their mouth. Custom-fitted mouth guards don’t slip or slide. In fact, they fit snugly and offer ultimate comfort.
Boil-and-Bite mouthguards are made of a type of plastic that becomes easily pliable under hot water. Simply place them in hot water and then allow your child to place them into the mouth. Using their fingers, your child can shape and mold the mouth guard to fit all the nooks and crannies of their teeth. Once it’s in optimum position, your child will bite down on it for several seconds, then run it under cold water to set the shape.
Adjustable mouth guards are just as they sound. They contain moving parts that slide open and closed to set the mouth guard into place.
Of the four types of mouth guards available, the ones that come in one size to fit every mouth are usually the least useful. Because no two mouths are the same, these over-the-counter solutions may or may not fit your child. And if the piece is uncomfortable to wear or falls out easily, they may be reluctant to wear it.
Call Your Dentist to Learn More About Mouth Guards
Do you feel your child may benefit from a mouth guard? If so, a visit to Missoula Pediatric Dentistry is the solution. Our talented and friendly staff members are professionals when it comes to children. We understand that a visit to the dentist isn’t always first on your list of favorite things to do, and it may be even more stressful for your child. That’s why we take care to make each visit fun and educational. Call today to schedule an appointment with a member of our experienced team, and we’ll be happy to answer all your mouth-guard-related questions.