Give Your Child’s Teeth a Sporting Chance
As much as we don’t like to think about them, injuries can happen to children and teens when they play a sport. The typical protective precautions are well known: helmets for football players, chest protectors for softball and baseball catchers, face masks for hockey goaltenders.
But you must think ahead about protecting your child’s teeth. Consider the mouth guard. Without one, your child can be up to 60 times more likely to suffer a dental injury. And mouth protection matters as much at practice sessions as it does in actual games.
The mouth and teeth are most at risk in football, ice and field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, volleyball and gymnastics. But any activity that requires your child to make quick moves or has an object flying about can result in oral injuries. Some leagues and schools may mandate mouth guards for players.
Mouth guards protect not only the teeth but also the tongue, lips and cheeks, too. You and your young athlete can choose from three basic kinds of mouth guards:
- Stock: This type of mouth guard (also called “universal” or “off-the-shelf”) often includes gel in the surface closest to the teeth, to accomplish something like a custom fit. These provide the least protection.
- “Boil and bite”: The thermoplastic material of this guard softens in hot water. In that state, as your child bites down, the guard gets shaped to his individual “toothprint.”
- Custom-fitted: We offer completely customized mouth guards that will give your child exceptional protection. While a mouth guard made specifically for your child will cost more than will the other options, the individualized fit is more comfortable, offers better protection and is less likely to fall out.
Be vigilant in helping your child keep the mouth guard intact and clean, since, of course, it goes into the mouth. Store and carry it in a durable container that allows for air circulation. Before and after each use, rinse it well or, better yet, brush it, using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Keep it out of the sun and hot water—either can distort the guard’s shape—and when it inevitably does become distorted or overly worn, replace it.
If you and your child are unsure about which type of mouth guard is most suitable, consult Dr. Jared at KiDDS Dental. He’ll be happy to evaluate your options and guide you to the one that fits best—in every sense.
Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!