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Custom Athletic Mouthguards in Lancaster, OH
Athletic mouth guards are essential for protecting your child’s teeth when they are out on the field or court. The ADA recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following sports: acrobatics, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, mountain biking, racquetball, roller hockey, roller blading, rugby, shot-putting, snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weight lifting, and wrestling. Here are a few different varieties of mouth guards, how to choose the best one for your child, and how these innovative dental appliances could protect your child from a life-changing injury.
Varieties of Mouth Guards
You can buy athletic mouth guards everywhere from online to your local grocery superstore, but there are some significant differences between these mass-produced mouthguards and the versions hand-crafted by your Lancaster pediatric dentist. Here are the three major varieties of mouth guards.
Stock Mouth Guards
Stock mouth guards consist of a basic, non-contoured bite tray that essentially provides a rubber or plastic barrier between your child’s teeth. Unfortunately, these stock mouth guards aren’t customizable, and finding a proper fit can be difficult. Mouth guards that don’t fit properly are prone to slipping, falling out, or causing abrasions on your child’s cheeks or gum tissue.
Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
Slightly higher quality than stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards are essentially stock guards that can be customized slightly. These mouth guards are made from material that softens slightly when it is boiled, allowing your child to bite down on the guard to make a protective impression of their teeth. However, boil and bite mouth guards can be hard to customize, since most kids don’t want to bite down on a hot piece of plastic, and the end result is generally far from perfect.
Custom Athletic Mouthguards
Custom athletic mouth guards are considered the gold standard for athletic dental preventive care because they are custom fitted for each and every athlete. Your Lancaster pediatric dentist will take careful measurements and impressions of your child’s teeth and then talk with you both about the sport they are playing, their personal preferences, and their customization options. Custom athletic mouth guards are incredible comfortable, ultra-durable, and very efficient—protecting your child from dental damage and even concussions.
Powerful Benefits of Athletic Mouth Guards
- Prevent Dental Fractures and Avulsions: Did you know that about 1/3rd of all dental injuries are sports related? It only takes one poorly-placed hit to knock out a few teeth, which is why mouth guards are so crucial. Dental mouth guards that fit properly and that are designed for your child’s sport of choice can prevent dental fractures and avulsions—saving your child from the pain and embarrassment of dental injuries.
- Prevent Soft Tissue Injuries: When athletes are hit or jarred suddenly, they can bite down on their lips, tongue, or inner cheeks, causing serious lacerations. However, mouth guards cap the biting surfaces of teeth, preventing tissue punctures.
- Reduce Concussions: Custom athletic mouth guards can also stabilize the head and neck, preventing concussions. In fact, in one study, participants who wore custom mouth guards were half as likely to suffer from concussion injuries as their peers who were wearing stock or boil and bite mouthguards.
- Improved Playing Confidence: Research has also shown that athletes who play with a mouth guard feel safer, which can help to improve their performance.
- Cost Effective: Custom mouth guards are more expensive than stock models, but they pale in comparison to the cost of replacing an avulsed tooth. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure--especially when it comes to sports safety.
As you can see, custom athletic mouth guards are an absolute necessity for kids who play sports or who live an active lifestyle. Contact your Lancaster pediatric dentist to make an appointment.