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When Should Kids Wear a Mouthguard? 

added on: July 12, 2023

Playing sports and being physically active is great for overall health and helps kids burn off energy, especially in the summer months. However, sports and other activities that involve physical contact can come with a risk of dental injury. That’s why your pediatric dentist in Long Island will always recommend that kids wear a mouthguard while playing sports. In fact, mouthguards are one of the most effective ways to prevent dental injuries.

How Does a Mouthguard Protect Teeth?

A mouthguard is an important piece of sports equipment that can protect teeth and other areas of the mouth against injuries. Mouthguards fit over the teeth and gums and are designed to absorb and distribute the force of any impact, minimizing the risk of dental injury. Dental injuries can be painful, expensive, and sometimes even permanent, so it’s important to take measures to prevent them. If your little one plays sports, talk to your pediatric dentist in Long Island about the best mouthguard for kids. 

3 Types of Mouthguards

Speaking of the best mouthguards for kids, there are actually several different types of mouthguards to consider, each having some pros and cons.

  • Stock Mouthguards: The most affordable type of mouthguard is a stock mouthguard. They’re also very convenient as they can be found in most sporting goods stores. However, since stock mouthguards are pre-formed, they may not fit well, and therefore, may not provide the best protection.
  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: Perhaps the most common type of mouthguard is the boil-and-bite. These mouthguards are made from material that softens when boiled. As the name suggests, you can boil the mouthguard, allow it to cool just a little, place it in your child’s mouth and bite down. The boil-and-bite method allows for a more custom shape around the teeth and provides a better fit and better protection. 
  • Custom-Made Mouthguards: The top-tier mouthguards are custom-made by a pediatric dentist in Long Island. After taking precise impressions of your child’s teeth, a super-custom, and super-comfortable mouthguard will be created. Custom mouthguards are the most expensive option but also provide the best protection. Plus, many times your dentist can make them in custom colors! 

Benefits of Mouthguards

Ensuring that your child wears a mouthguard (and wears it properly) every time they play a sport can offer a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Prevent Tooth Damage: Mouthguards are designed to take on the force of a physical impact, lowering the risk of tooth damage. They can protect against broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth.
  • Keep Gums Safe: While mouthguards are well known for their ability to protect teeth, they can also keep gums and other soft tissues in the mouth safe. Guarding teeth can help avoid injuries to the lips, cheek, tongue, and gums. 
  • Protect Against Serious Injuries: Outside of preventing dental injuries, mouthguards can also help protect against serious injuries such as concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries.

If you have a child that’s active in sports or other activities where contact can occur, ask your pediatric dentist in Long Island about which mouthguard they recommend.