Spring and summer sports season is upon us! From nights spent on the soccer field to days knocking in home runs, sports are a great way to help kids stay healthy and active but can also be dangerous especially when it comes to teeth. This is why we always recommend anyone playing a sport, even those that may not seem dangerous, wear a properly fitted mouth guard.
Why are mouth guards so important? Typically covering the upper teeth, mouth guards are great protectors to protect teeth from flying elbows or wayward balls and help minimize injuries to lips, the tongue, face or jaw.
There are three options when it comes to mouth guards – stock, boil and bite and custom.
- Stock mouth guards are pre-formed, ready to wear, and usually less expensive. However they often don’t fit as well and can be bulky.
- Boil and bite are first softened in water then shaped to the person’s mouth. This type can be bought at most sporting goods stores or drugstores and have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Custom-made mouth guards are made by a dentist and are more expensive but have a better fit and tend to be more comfortable.
No matter what type of mouth guard you choose, remember to properly care for it by keeping it clean and dry, rinsing it before and after each use, cleaning it regularly, and keeping it in a sturdy container with vents. You should also check it regularly for wear-and-tear and replace it if necessary.
Want to test your knowledge about mouth guards, here’s a fun quiz from the American Dental Association. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/mouthguard-quiz