The start of school and fall sports is a good time to review your child’s mouth guard needs.
Who needs a mouth guard?
Two million teeth are knocked out every year in sports related injuries. These injuries occur during contact sports like football but they also can occur in non-contact sports like gymnastics or skate boarding. Anytime there is the risk of contact between you and another person or hard surface warrants the use of a mouth guard. In addition to preventing tooth and jaw fractures, guards protect lip and cheek inner surfaces from cuts caused by teeth – especially helpful for those with orthodontic appliances!
There are three main types of mouth guards; ready-made, mouth formed and custom-made. Ready made guards provide low protection and a poor fit. They are held in place by biting down which interferes with speech and breathing and can cause jaw soreness. Mouth formed guards are fitted at home by the user and often are bulky and have a loose fit. If going with an over the counter mouth guard be sure it complies with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Custom mouth guards are made by your dentist and offer the best fit and protection. Custom made guards also tend to last longer than store bought perhaps due to a better fit reducing grinding and chewing on uncomfortable areas of the guard. Two 15 minute appointments is all that is needed to be sure you or your child has the best protection available.
Mouth Guards and Concussions
Another benefit of custom made mouth guards is that they may further reduce the incidence of concussion when worn. A recent study found high school football players wearing in store purchased mouth guards were twice as likely to have mild traumatic brain injuries incurred during play versus players wearing a properly fitted custom mouth guard. This is likely in part due to higher thicknesses of custom made mouth guards.
Call Mondale Dental today and make your appointment for the best fitting and most protective mouth guard for you or your player!