Shin guards? Check. Helmet? Check. Cleats? Check. Mouth Guard? Double Check!
Spring is here. And, for many Roseburg kids and teens, that means it’s full-on soccer, baseball, skateboarding and lets-get-outside-and-do-something-athletic season. It also means April is here—which is National Facial Protection Month. In this month’s blog, we’ll be discussing just that—how to keep kids and teens protected from painful mouth and jaw injuries that can happen during these sports. Fear not, our team at Current Orthodontics is here to give you all the information you need to avoid preventable sports-related mouth injuries.
According to the Academy of Sports Dentistry as well as the American Pediatric Dentistry, children ages 7 – 11 are more likely to get a sports related mouth injury than any other age group. These types of injuries can range from broken teeth, injuries to your lips, tongue, and your cheek lining. That’s why at Current Orthodontics, we strongly encourage our athletes to protect their face and mouth—regardless whether you have braces or not! Mouth guards, also known as mouth protectors, help cushion the blow reducing these risks. What’s interesting is that there are a few different types of mouth guards out there. Which is why choosing the right one can be a little trickier than you’d expect.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of mouth protectors out there:
1) Custom-made. A custom mold is created specifically for you, and then three to four weeks later, your mouth guard is ready to be worn. While these custom fit mouth guards are slightly more expensive, the benefit is that they fit your teeth perfectly. Meaning, they’re more comfortable and won’t accidentally fall out in the middle of a big moment. That’s a win!
2) Boil and Bite. These mouth guards become soft in boiling water and then you place them into your mouth where you bite down so the plastic can form to the shape of your mouth and teeth. You can get these at any number of places like a sporting goods store, or a drugstore. Boil and bite mouth guards usually fit better than a stock mouth guard because there is some amount of customization with these. Make sure you choose a Boil and Bite mouth guard that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance, like CustMbite MVP and CustMBite Pro.
3) Stock Mouth Guards. These are usually very inexpensive and come ready to wear. While these won’t mold quite as well to your teeth as custom mouth guards or boil and bite mouth guards, they do provide added protection against any rogue balls that might fly your way and damage your teeth during sports. Bottom line: any facial protection is better than none!
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Yet, one thing is certain: Make sure you and your kids’ smiles are well-protected this spring and summer – and year-round, for that matter. You should even wear a mouth guard when you’re playing a sport you wouldn’t normally imagine needing one for, like gymnastics, or skateboarding. You just never know what types of accidents kids can have during physical activity! Mouth and jaw injuries can be painful and expensive to correct, so do your kids a favor and get them acquainted with using a mouth guard!
Have more questions about the best mouth guard option for your athlete? Contact our office—Current Orthodontics in Roseburg. We’re happy to help!
So, get out there and have some fun! It is Spring, after all.