At Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, we are committed to providing exceptional dental care for families. One of the best ways to do that is by preventing common dental problems and emergencies before they happen. Dr. Huynh frequently recommends sports mouthguards for our young patients who are active in athletic activities. Mouthguards can reduce the risk of dental injuries like broken teeth and busted lips, but they also lower your child’s risk of a concussion and broken jaw in the event of sports-related trauma.
Understanding the Need for Mouthguards
As parents, we always strive to keep our children safe and healthy. We buy pads, helmets, and other protective gear to keep our kids safe. But did you know that most sports-related and summer injuries are isolated to the mouth, face, head and neck?
When it comes to your child’s dental health, prevention is key. Mouthguards are a simple yet effective way to protect your child’s teeth and mouth from potential injuries during physical activities. Whether they are participating in organized sports or engaging in recreational activities, mouthguards provide an essential barrier against impacts, falls, and collisions. By investing in a mouthguard, you can significantly reduce the risk of dental emergencies, such as broken or knocked-out teeth, lip lacerations, and jaw injuries.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards available for children: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. Let’s take a closer look at each option.
Stock Mouthguards: Stock mouthguards are readily available at sporting goods stores or pharmacies. These pre-formed mouthguards come in different sizes but do not offer a customized fit. While they provide a basic level of protection, they may be less comfortable and may require frequent adjustments to stay in place. Unfortunately, this makes them more cumbersome and most kids won’t keep them in or they’ll fall out when you need them the most.
Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer a better fit compared to stock mouthguards. They are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when boiled. After cooling it slightly, your child can bite into the material, allowing it to mold to their teeth. This process allows for a more customized fit, improving comfort and protection. Boil-and-bite designs are a mid-range option between stock mouthguards and custom appliances.
Custom-made Mouthguards: Custom-made mouthguards, crafted by dental professionals like Dr. Huynh at Eastport Dental, provide the highest level of protection, comfort, and durability. To create a custom mouthguard, Dr. Huynh will take impressions of your child’s teeth, ensuring a precise fit that accommodates their unique dental structure. Custom-made mouthguards offer optimal comfort, unobstructed breathing, and ease of speech, making them the preferred choice for many parents and children.
The personalized fit you get from a custom mouthguard keeps them in place when you need them, so they’re less likely to fall out in the event of a hit or fall, protecting your child against secondary injuries and concussions.
Advantages of Custom-made Mouthguards
Custom-made mouthguards offer several advantages over stock or boil-and-bite options. Let’s explore why:
Superior Fit: Custom-made mouthguards are designed specifically for your child’s teeth, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. This personalized fit not only enhances protection but also allows for unobstructed breathing and clear speech, making it easier for your child to participate in activities while wearing the mouthguard. They’ll be less likely to take them out during the game or practice, because of the snug and comfortable fit.
Enhanced Protection: Due to their tailored design, custom-made mouthguards provide optimal protection for your child’s teeth, jaw, and surrounding oral structures like their lips, cheeks, and tongue. They effectively absorb and distribute impact forces, reducing the risk of dental injuries during sports or physical activities. Custom mouthguards are especially important if your child wears braces or has any dental appliances, as they provide additional protection against potential damage. And last but not least, they can buffer any trauma to the jaw, lowering the risk of a concussion or broken bones.
Durability and Longevity: Custom-made mouthguards are fabricated using high-quality materials, making them more durable and long-lasting compared to stock or boil-and-bite alternatives. By investing in a custom mouthguard, you ensure that your child’s oral protection remains reliable over time, saving you money on frequent replacements. However, we do recommend updating the appliance each year as your child’s mouth continues to grow.
Schedule Your Child’s Consultation
At Eastport Dental, we prioritize the oral health and safety of your child’s oral health. If your child needs a mouthguard, we would love to discuss the options available. Call our Mesa, AZ dentist office to schedule a consultation.