You've got your teen cleared with her physical forms from the doctor, she's made the team and you've purchased the uniform. So she's all ready to jump on the sports field and get playing. Right? Wait - there's one more thing that is just as important as all the gear and the physical checks. It's a mouth guard.
Whether your teen is playing lacrosse, football, soccer or any other sport with impact or airborne objects, they need a mouth guard. It's a good idea to talk to your dentist about this and decide what is the best mouth guard to get. Many of them will agree on one thing - go for a custom guard.
What are athletic mouth guards?
First off, what exactly is a mouth guard and what does it do? According to Colgate's Oral Care Center:
Sports guards, mouth guards and mouth protectors are different names for the same thing: a device worn over your teeth that protects them from blows to the face and head. Mouth guards are an important piece of athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. This includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, mountain biking — any activity that might result in an injury to the mouth.
Mouth guards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth. If you wear braces or other fixed dental appliances (such as a bridge) on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.
So no matter what sport your teen is doing that falls into these categories, they need a mouth guard.
Why a custom guard?
A custom guard is usually made in your dentist's office and not only is more comfortable than another type of guard but the fit, therefore the protection, is better. After making an impression of your child's teeth, the dentist makes a custom guard that will fit over the teeth just right, even over braces.
Custom mouth guards also let the athlete breathe more naturally, helping not only their performance but their comfort and overall health. They also tend to outlast other types of mouth guards as they are usually of higher quality material and construction.
Gladiator Custom Guards reports that Over 5 million teeth are knocked out each year and the lifetime cost to replace one tooth is approximately $20,000. If one custom guard can prevent high cost and tooth loss, it's worth it.
How your dentist can help
Speak to your dentist about helping you find the best custom mouth guard for your teen. This is an all important piece of sports equipment, and your family dentist can be an integral part of finding the best one for your athlete. Modern dentistry covers much more than simple basic cleanings. Whether your dentist can make the mouth guard for your child or direct you to your best source, the dentist should be your first stop in checking this out. Remember, your dental health should be a regular part of your family’s medical and well being routine. Call us. We will be happy to help.