With the school term, underway and the club and activity schedules flying in. It’s time to think about getting a mouth guard fitted for any of your children about to start playing any contact sports. A mouth guard is a protective device which covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums.
There are three types of sport mouth guards to choose from. With each type, you should make sure they fit properly, feel comfortable and are resilient to tears or knocks
Custom-made sport mouth guards These are individually designed and made by your dentist. They will provide the most comfortable fit and the best protection. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and then constructs the mouth guard over a model of them. As these are the best fit they tend to be the most expensive. From £35.00
Boil and bite sport mouth guards These come in a pre-formed shape that can be altered by boiling the mouth guard in water, then biting into the warm plastic for a customised fit. They can be bought at many sporting goods stores, and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. It is really important to follow the directions carefully to avoid making a poorly fitting mouth guard. From £5.00
Stock mouth sport guards These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and may make breathing and talking difficult. These are the cheapest type of sport mouth guard to wear. From £4.00
Questions & Answers
Q: Which protection level should I choose?
A: Mid-Impact Sports guards are used for rugby, judo, etc. (i.e. sports that do not use a hard stick or ball and where the head is not an intentional target). Hi-Impact for Hockey, Lacrosse, Boxing, Martial Arts, etc. (i.e. sports that do use a hard stick or ball, or where the head is a target).
Q: How long does a sport mouth guard last?
A: This varies according to many factors, e.g. growth, usage etc. Normally a growing child would require a new sport mouth guard once a year. Although the teeth and bones may be growing, the sport mouth guards are flexible, and can accommodate some movement. Older children and adults may not grow, but the mouth guard will wear down with use and should be checked annually.
Q: How do I store my sport mouth guard?
A: The safest place is to keep it stored in the plastic case that it comes with. Do not leave it in direct sunlight or near heat source.
Q: How do I clean my sport mouth guard?
A: You should clean your mouth guard with a retainer cleaner such as retainer bright. Do not use toothpaste or other cleaning materials to clean your mouth guard. Do not rinse in hot water.
Q: What happens if my child will have a fixed brace fitted soon?
A: A new sports mouth guard would need to be made once the braces were fitted.
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