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20% of all sports-related injuries are dental injuries! Even worse, a child is 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when they aren’t wearing a mouthguard. According to the CDC, more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at children’s sporting events. So, if your child plays a sport, here is what you should know about mouth guards and how to choose the best one.

How do they work?

Often called mouth protectors, mouth guards cushion any trauma to the face, thus actively preventing cutting a lip, tongue or cheek, or even breaking any teeth. In other words, they minimize the chances of tooth loss and further damage to the face.

What are considered the best and worst mouth guards for kids?

Like many other things in life, you often get what you pay for. However, we have created a list of various types of mouthguards to help you make the ultimate decision:

  • Stock Mouth Guards

Although these are the least effective mouthguards on the list, they are also the most inexpensive. Because stock mouth guards are often too bulky and unfit for most mouths, they make breathing hard. This type of mouthguard is best used for low-contact sports and should be avoided for more intense sports like hockey or football. You can find stock mouth guards at most sporting goods stores and for a reasonable price.

  • Boil and Bite Sports Guards

These mouth guards are averagely priced and averagely made. When bought, boil and bite guards come as a “U” shaped piece of rubber with no indentations. Because these guards are made of rubber composites, they are made to use by boiling them in water, making them malleable to fit your child’s mouth. Once the boiling step is done, your child will be instructed to bite into it, molding to fit their teeth. Like stock mouth guards, this type of mouthguard can also be found at most major sporting goods stores. Yet, these are fit for more contact intensive sports.

  • Custom Mouth Guards

Because these are made specifically for your child, custom mouthguards will undoubtedly be the most effective in protecting your child but the most expensive. In creating a custom mouthguard, you can choose from various materials most compatible with their teeth. To no surprise, these will fit the best and be the most protective for any sport.

Which sports require mouth guards?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the following sports should be performed using mouth guards: boxing, football, field/ice/roller hockey, basketball, martial arts, rugby, soccer, wrestling, water polo, skiing, skateboarding, volleyball, lacrosse, racquetball, and more. In other cases, check the sport’s rules to determine whether or not your child should sport a mouthguard.

To learn more about mouthguards, give Douglas Family Dentistry a call today!

Located at 10630 North Scottsdale Road, Douglas Family Dentistry serves families in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale, and surrounding Arizona communities.  To schedule an appointment to discuss the dental procedures and services we offer, call our office today at 480-948-3680.