The importance of mouthguards:
To protect the mouth and teeth from serious injury, a mouthguard, usually a flexible piece of rubbery plastic that fits into the mouth, should be worn during all recreational and athletic activities - especially activities where there is contact or potential contact with another person, piece of equipment, or the ground. In particular, mouthguards should be worn during the following sports:
- field hockey
- ice hockey
- martial arts
Many recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling also pose a risk of injuring the mouth and teeth. Exercise caution during these activities.
Mouthguards and preventable injuries:
Injuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following, many of which could be prevented with proper and consistent use of a mouthguard:
- dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth
- broken or chipped tooth
- bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip
- objects caught/lodged between the teeth
- jaw fracture
- neck injury
- jaw collision - the upper jaw gets jammed into the lower jaw
- concussions - possible protection with mouthguard
Types of mouthguards:
There are several types of mouthguards that can be used. The following are two of the most common types:
- pre-made mouthguards (boil and bite type)
One type is already made and can be found in most sport stores. There are different types and brands. Choose the one that fits best and is most comfortable. Make sure it covers all of the front and back teeth.
- custom-made mouthguards
Your child’s dentist can make a mouth guard specifically for your child. These may be more expensive, but are more comfortable for the child. If the mouth guard fits well, it will be worn. The child will be able to talk and breath better with this custom made mouth guard.
Consult your child's dentist regarding the best type of mouthguard to use.
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