Dr. Nihar Tanna, Tanna Orthodontics
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
September is back to school season, and along with getting new clothes and school supplies, it’s time to think about your children’s teeth. If your kids play sports like football, basketball, soccer, you can help protect their teeth by choosing the right mouthguard.
Many parents are wondering if the right mouthguard can help prevent concussions. While there is no firm scientific evidence, some mouthguard makers have anecdotal evidence to suggest that a well-fitted mouthguard can reduce the risk of concussion by softening the impact of blows to the face and chin. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right mouthguard:
• Cheaper is not better: The cheapest mouthguard is usually not the best. Mouthguards range from ready-to-wear mouthguards, to “boil and bite” mouthguards that form to the shape of the teeth, to custom-made mouthguards created from a dental impression of your child’s teeth and gums. Getting your dentist or orthodontist to create a professionally made custom mouthguard is the best way to ensure a proper, comfortable fit.
• Keep the mouthguard in your mouth: Many lower-cost mouthguards are uncomfortable to use and/or are not properly fitted to the wearer’s jaws and teeth. This leads young athletes to repeatedly remove the mouthguard or stop wearing it altogether. Have you noticed that pro football players tend to immediately remove their mouthguards while heading to the sidelines on 4th down, and NBA basketball players are often playfully chewing on their mouthguards during breaks in the game? These are signs that the mouthguards are uncomfortable.
• Protect your braces: The most popular kind of mouthguard is the “boil and bite” variety that is commonly found in stores. However, this variety of mouthguard is not designed for braces. Don’t risk breaking a bracket or incurring expensive repairs to your child’s braces. A customized mouthguard is the best way to protect your child’s teeth, while protecting your investment in your child’s braces treatment.
The right choice of mouthguard will help ensure safety by covering the teeth, cushioning the jaw, and providing for easy speech and breathing. When kids’ mouthguards feel good and fit right, they are more likely to keep wearing them.
You wouldn’t let your child play football or softball without a helmet, so why not ensure that your child’s teeth are properly protected as well? Before your kids “get in the game,” make sure they are properly equipped with a comfortable, properly fitted mouthguard.
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*No Purchase Necessary.
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