Mouth guards provide protection to children's teeth, lips, mouth, and jaw. We strongly recommend the use of mouth guards for kids who play sports—especially contact sports—and kids who are starting to get their permanent teeth but still grinding their teeth.
Kids Mouth Guards and Night Guards
Sports Mouth Guard
A mouth guard should be considered an essential piece of equipment for every athlete who participates in contact sports and activities—adults and children both. Mouth guards provide enhanced protection to kid’s lips, tongue, teeth, and jaw. This additional protection can prevent minor injuries such as your child accidentally biting their lip after getting tackled in football up to more serious injuries that may result in a lifetime of oral health problems, such as a knocked out tooth.
Night guards are similar to mouth guards but are worn while sleeping to prevent damage from a disorder that causes you to unknowingly clench and grind your teeth while you are asleep. This disorder is called bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, and leaving it untreated can result in teeth fractures, breakages, headaches, and jaw pain.
What are the types of dental mouth guards?
There are three types of mouth guards, which are listed below:
- Stock mouth protectors that come ready to wear. These are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting goods stores. However, you cannot adjust their fit, they tend to be bulky and sometimes make breathing and talking difficult. Additionally, these types of mouth guards provide minimal protection.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors can also be bought at most sporting goods stores and offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. This type of mouthguard is placed in hot water to soften and then placed in the mouth to shape around the teeth.
- Custom-fitted mouth guards are designed individually and made in the dental office based on your dentists’ instructions. Your dentists will first make an impression of your teeth and then mold the mouth guard over the model. This type of mouthguard provides the most protection and comfort.
Why are mouth guards important in sports?
There are numerous reasons why wearing a mouth guard when playing sports is important. First mouth guards protect against displacing teeth as they help distribute force over all of your teeth, which prevents one, or two, teeth from bearing the brunt of the blow. They can also protect against injuries to soft tissues and prevent jaw and teeth fractures. And, ultimately, mouth guards may help prevent against concussions as the padding could lessen the force between the upper and lower rows of teeth and lessen the force of the jaw as it pushes on the skull.
What is the best option for a football mouth guard?
Wearing any kind of mouth guard is better than not when participating in sports. Higher-contact sports, like football, boxing, hockey, or wrestling present a bigger risk for injury to your child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw.
When it comes to mouth guards, the better the fit, the better the protection—which is why we recommend custom-fitted mouthguards for all athletes. The American Dental Association recommends custom mouth guards for children in sports, as “Studies have consistently shown reductions in orofacial injuries with the use of mouth guards, particularly custom-fitted mouth guards, in a wide range of active individuals.”
As an athlete, your child needs the best gear possible. We offer top-quality athletic mouth guards to protect their teeth during any competition. Our mouth guards are custom made from a lightweight material that is both comfortable and effective and can be easily inserted and removed when needed. They do not interfere with regular breathing or speaking.
When is a kids mouth guard for teeth grinding necessary?
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a prevalent behavior in children. If it doesn’t stop by the time your child’s permanent teeth start to come in, you should see a pediatric dentist. Consistent teeth grinding can cause long-lasting damage to your child’s teeth. Thankfully, a kids mouth guard, or night guard, can help prevent damage to their teeth.
Night guards act as a barrier between the top and bottom row of teeth. While a child clenches their jaw, the night guard limits the tension applied to the teeth and provides cushion to the jaw muscles.See Related: Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Questions about Mouth Guards?
We can create a custom mouth guard or night guard for your child that will provide them the most comfort while giving their teeth the most protection. Request an appointment for your child, see all of the pediatric dental services we offer, or contact us if you have any questions about your child's oral health.