Do you have a young athlete at home? While getting involved in sports is a great way for a child to stay healthy and build confidence, it’s important to make sure your child’s protected while out on the field or court. There’s an often overlooked piece of equipment that’s vital to your child’s oral health: the mouthguard. While mouthguards are mandatory for contact sports, such as football, there are several other sports where this crucial piece of gear is important.
Mouthguards in Sports and Athletics
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the International Academy of Sports Dentistry (IASD) recommend mouth guards for the following sports:
- Martial Arts
- Track and Field
- Ice Hockey
- Field Hockey
- Inline Skating
- Weight Lifting
- Water Polo
Different Types of Mouthguards
- Stock mouth protectors: These are the versions available in department stores and sporting goods stores. They come ready to wear and cost very little. However, they’re bulky and not likely to fit your child’s mouth very well, nor can they really be adjusted. Also, since they make breathing and talking difficult, your child will most likely end up chewing and fidgeting with the mouth-guard instead of wearing it properly.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors: The boil-and-bite versions can also be bought at most sporting goods stores. They offer a better fit for your child’s mouth than the stock protectorsbecause they are made of a thermoplastic material that you heat and then mold to your child’s teeth.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors: The custom mouth protector is only available through the dentist. They are individually designed and made in the office or a professional laboratory. The custom mouthguard provides the most comfort and protection for your child’s teeth. This type of mouthguard provides the most comfort and protection while still allowing your child to talk and breathe during play.
Talk to your Phoenix pediatric dentist about the different mouthguard options and how to encourage your child to wear this vital piece of equipment every time.