Athletic Mouth Guard Recommendations for Spring Sports
Throughout my years as a dentist, I have seen a variety of injuries that have occurred during contact sports. Some of these injuries have been so serious that the athlete has lost some of their permanent teeth. My advice to parents is to make certain that your child has an updated mouth guard and that it is worn at all times during practices and games. There are 3 types of mouth guards to choose from:
Stock mouth protectors: These guards are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection.
Boil and bite mouth protectors: These guards can also be bought at many sporting goods stores and can offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. If these protectors are formed correctly, they can offer adequate protection against trauma to the mouth. In fact, my sons both wear this type of mouth guards during the lacrosse season.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors: These guards are individually designed and made in a dental office. Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. This guard offers the most comfort and protection but involves additional costs and expense.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me. My office is located on Main Street in “downtown” Smithsburg. If you are in search of a dentist or are not happy with the level of care from your current dentist, please consider making an appointment at our office. We are always happy to have good families join our practice.