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Do Athletic Mouth Guards Protect Children During Sports?

Athletic mouth guards play an important role in oral safety and should be worn by children when playing contact and non-contact sports, or even recreational activities (i.e. skateboarding). Designed with two major goals in mind: to protect teeth against the impact of objects or body parts and to protect against a concussion. Mouth guards help prevent damage to your child’s soft tissue, tongue and lips, and reduces chipping and breaking of your child’s teeth.

Depending on your finances, there are a variety of mouth guards available for purchase at sporting goods stores or you may have them professionally made. When purchasing a mouth guard from a sporting goods store, it is recommended that you get a “boil and bite” guard (made of thermoplastic material that can be shaped around the teeth when heated) thus offering more protection than your average performed ready-to-wear guard that cannot mold around a child’s teeth.

Performed mouth guards are less expensive but bulky, so they offer little protection and make breathing very hard. If you’re looking to protect your child during contact and non-contact sports, purchasing a custom fitted mouth guard is best. Your dentist can custom fit one from the impression of your child’s mouth.

Mouth guards usually only cover the top teeth, but there are children that may need a lower guard due to braces, bridges or retainers. Just remember, a mouth guard should be odorless and tasteless, tear resistant, easy to clean, remain firmly in place, not limit your ability to talk or breath and should always be replaced at any signs of wear and tear.

If you apply these important factors when purchasing an athletic mouth guard, you help reduce your child’s risk if he/she ever received a crushing blow from someone’s body part via the mandible into the skull. Such a blow could cause severe damage, including broken teeth or a concussion with long-lasting effects. Playing sports and recreational activities offer so much fun and lots of health benefits. Just remember to keep your child safe and protect your child’s mouth when they play sports or participate in recreational activities.

Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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