Yes! When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear. Your child should always wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
Even though many sports programs are still up in the air due to COVID-19, most have started practices.
Safety is an often overlooked part of oral health. Many tend to think of only football players wearing mouth guards, but injuries can happen in any contact sport like soccer, basketball, baseball and martial arts. Injuries occur when a child collides with another player or ball or falls and hits a hard surface. These injuries can vary from breaking or knocking out teeth to soft tissue injuries to the tongue, lips and cheeks, requiring emergency dental care.
Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
Types of Mouthguards
There are several different types of mouthguards with varying prices. You have to do your research and know what to consider when buying a mouthguard.
These are inexpensive and come pre-formed and ready to wear. They are easy to put in and take out. But they can also be less secure.
Boil and Bite
These are the most popular mouthguards and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than the ready-made mouthguards. They are first softened in hot, boiling water, then inserted into the mouth and allowed to adapt to the shape of your teeth and mouth.
These are custom made by your dentist and are created for fit and comfort.
How to Take Care of Your Mouthguard
It is crucial to have good oral hygiene and take proper care of your mouthguard, especially doing the COVID pandemic. Here are a few tips to protect against germs, viruses and bacteria:
- Rinse your mouthguard before and after each use. You can clean it in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse and dry it thoroughly.
- Store and transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container with vents to dry and keep bacteria from growing.
- Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or hot water.
- Store your mouthguard and case somewhere pets cannot get to it.
- Check fit and for signs of wear and tear. Replace it immediately if it shows signs of wear, is damaged or doesn’t fil properly.
- Bring your mouthguard with you to your regular dental checkups so we can make sure it fits properly and is in good condition.
If you’re unsure about when to replace your mouthguard, just ask us!
If your child ever breaks a tooth or knocks a tooth out, it’s important to find the fragments or tooth and put them in milk or water to keep them from drying out. Contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the better the chance we have for saving the teeth! We are available 24/7 through our emergency line for emergencies. You can reach us after hours through our app or by calling the office at (904) 215-7800 and following the prompts.
Be safe out there and as always, we’re here to help you. If you have any questions about how to choose the right mouthguard for your child, just ask us and we’ll be happy to help.