Imagine this – a group of children, anywhere between 7 to 10 years old, running around, playing games, having fun, the way kids that age do, and just overall having a swell time on a sunny summer’s day…until one kid loses a tooth (or two) to an errant arm or a playful punch. The kid would still look cute, no doubt. They always do, but the pain is certainly not worth it.
It is here, that you, as parents, must take into consideration the fact that in sports, the most common kind of facial injuries are dental injuries, which is why a mouth guard is essential that must be at the absolute top of your list of priorities as you and your kids get ready for the summer season and all the sports activities that make the season brings with it. The mouth guard’s role isn’t limited to just the protection of your child’s teeth, but also extends to the jaw and the mouth, which are areas that do not come within the ambit of protection of regular helmets.
In fact, it is important to note that the kids who wear braces actually have a much higher chance of sustaining oral injuries like mouth lacerations, in the unfortunate event of their braces sustaining a hit from a rogue ball or even, another player.
As surprising as it may seem, as many as two hundred thousand, more even, oral injuries are prevented or avoided annually just by wearing Mouthguards while engaged in any kind of sports activity, and there is nothing stopping this statistic from touching the sky if guardians, parents, coaches, and caretakers were to make it mandatory to wear Mouthguards when playing a sport, and ensure that this mandate is implemented.
Types of Mouthguards Available in the Market
There are three types of Mouthguards that are commonly available in the market.
1. The Boil-and-bite Mouth Guard
This particular kind of mouth guard is easily available in most sporting-goods stores. All that is needed is for the mouth guard to be heated in warm water so as to soften the plastic a bit before your child is to wear it. However, the fit of this kind of mouth guard is not very precise or accurate as it is not vacuum fitted or customized to the individual wearing it.
2. The Athletic Mouth Guard
This type of mouth guard is usually more on the thin and flexible side. However, it is a lot less comfortable than the other kinds of Mouthguards available. This particular type of mouth guard is bulky and fits kind of loosely, which is a problem because it might end up impeding the user’s speech.
3. The Custom-made Mouth Guard
The custom-made mouth guard is usually created by a professional such as your dentist or orthodontist and is easily the most effective kind of mouth guard available as it is significantly more durable, tough, tear-resistant and most importantly, comfortable. For this, your dentist will have to take an impression of your mouth and make a cast model of your teeth based on this impression. Finally, the mouth guard will be made from this cast model of your teeth.
The way to test a mouth guard’s efficacy is to see if it keeps teeth in place, can resist tearing and poses no impediment to the individual’s speech or breathing. Additionally, it should also cover the teeth and gums properly so as to ensure maximum protection.
Most kinds of Mouthguards allow for a mouth guard strap to be fastened to them, thus ensuring protection and also giving the user the option to remove the mouth guard when not in use and letting it be suspended from the face mask or helmet. A mouth guard usually only covers and protects your upper teeth. However, if you have a jaw that protrudes, your dentist may advise you to get a mouth guard for your lower teeth too.
How to Take Care of Your Mouth Guard
Here are a few ways in which you can take care of your mouth guard so that it can protect you in turn:
- You must wash your mouth guard with antiseptic mouth wash and cold water before as well as after each use. You can also clean it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and some toothpaste.
- To avoid any kind of damage from exposure, you must make sure to store your mouth guard in a plastic container when it is not being used so as to prevent it from getting damaged due to excessive heat or cold.
- Since a mouth guard is made primarily from plastic, it is imperative that you keep it away from the sun and store in a cool and dry place to prevent it from melting or deforming
- You must make sure to check your mouth guard regularly for holes, tears or loosening as wearing a worn out or damaged mouth guard will reduce the amount of protection it provides you with.
- Lastly, it is highly advised and recommended that you get yourself a new mouth guard to replace your old one with, at the start of every new season. This will ensure maximum protection at all times.
A mouth guard is one of the cheapest items of all the protective athletic equipment that is available in the market, and while a custom mouth guard is more expensive than a store-bought one, it offers your child better protection and more comfort. So, what are you waiting for?! You know what they say – “Better safe than sorry”.
Get your children custom-made Mouthguards today to make sure their happy and carefree smiles aren’t snatched away.
Visit us at Dental Lab Direct today and get your children the protection and care that they deserve. At Dental Lab Direct, we provide custom dental products that are traditionally only offered by a dental professional, directly to you, at a fraction of the market price.