I’m sure many of us are familiar with the sight of a football player with his mouth guard dangling from his helmet. We don’t think twice about why they need to wear a mouth guard.
But what about kids and teens playing other sports? Is it really necessary for a gymnast, soccer play or wrestler to wear one? It may be surprising, but the American Dental Association recommends exactly that. In fact, a mouth guard is recommended for participants in the following sports:
· Field hockey
· Ice hockey
Why use a mouth guard?
· Mouth guards prevent cuts and bruising during impact.
· Mouth guards prevent tooth fractures or dislocations.
· Opposite teeth are protected from contact with each other.
· The lower jaw is protected so impact does not fracture or damage the bone.
· Mouth guards help athletes feel more comfortable and protected.
There are essentially three types of mouth guards, each having their pros and cons.
· Custom Dentist Fitted (The American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry recommend a professionally-made, properly-fitted custom mouth guard.)
· Mouth-Formed (Boil and Bite)
The benefits of custom-made mouth guards
Everyone’s mouth and teeth are shaped differently. It doesn’t make sense to that a one-size-fits-all mouth guard will provide the needed protection. A custom-made, personalized mouth guard:
· Covers and protects all of the teeth.
· Provides cushioning for the jaw.
· Protects the front teeth from a frontal blow that can knock the teeth out.
· Should easily stay in place without much movement.
· Should feel comfortable while wearing it.
How can you get a custom-made mouth guard?
Dr. Schlueter can help.
He’ll make a mold of your teeth and mouth and create a mouth guard specifically for you. For kids and teens, the mouth guard will need to be replaced as they grow. And adults should replace theirs periodically as they can wear out over time from use.
Remember, a custom mouth guard is an essential part of your athletic equipment just as important as correctly fitting shoes you wear while playing. Don’t risk your teeth, get the right gear!
Dr. Dave and Team