Does My Child Need an Athletic Mouthguard?

hockey player with tooth knocked out

If your child is interested in participating in sports, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to get them a mouthguard to protect their teeth. There are different types of athletic mouthguards to choose from, and depending on the sport, a mouthguard may or may not be required. Here’s what you need to know about the types of mouthguards and whether or not your child should get one.

Types of Mouthguards

There are three common types of mouthguards that are used for sports. The two least expensive options are either pre-formed mouthguards or what are known as “boil-and-bite” guards. For this second type, you soften the guard in boiling water and then bite down on it to fit them to the shape of your mouth. If your child is dedicated to sports, your best option is to have a custom-fitted mouthguard made at the dentist. This will ensure a comfortable fit if your child is planning to use it regularly.

Sports that Mandate Mouthguards

Some contact-heavy sports require that all participants wear a mouthguard due to the increased risk of injury to the teeth. If your child is planning to try out for sports like football, hockey, wrestling, martial arts, or lacrosse, be prepared to get them a mouthguard. If they aren’t sure they’ll stick with it, get an inexpensive mouthguard for the short-term, and if they decide to keep at it, you can get them fitted for a custom guard.

Sports Where Mouthguards are Optional

While a number of other sports don’t require that you wear a mouthguard, it’s almost always a good idea to wear protective gear if there is any potential for injury to your mouth. Sports like volleyball, baseball, basketball, and gymnastics all pose a risk to your child’s teeth, and investing in a good quality mouthguard can help to prevent any emergency trips to the dentist.

If you or your child is involved in sports, and you’re in need of an athletic mouthguard, Team Dental of Joplin will be happy to provide you with a custom-fitted guard. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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