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Athletic Mouthguards

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Mouthguards, also known as athletic mouthguards, provide critical protection to your child from recreational and sports-related dental injuries. They tightly fit the teeth to preserve the integrity of the smile, as well as dampen traumatic injuries to the brain. A properly fitted mouthguard can protect 75% of dental injuries, depending on the impact of the injury. Also, we often recommend nightguards to prevent tooth damage from nighttime dental grinding.

All sports display an increased risk of dental trauma from falls, collisions, or contact with sporting equipment. Studies show that sporting activities account for nearly 40% of dental injuries in children. Teeth are most susceptible to dental trauma from sports between ages seven and eleven.

What are the most common sports for dental injuries?

Baseball has the greatest trauma incidence in seven to twelve-year- olds.
Basketball has the highest incidence in the thirteen to seventeen-year- olds.

The consequences of dental trauma can be protracted and severe. Some effects include:

  • Pain
  • Psychological effects.
  • Advanced multi-specialty and prolonged, expensive dental care.
  • Multiple dental and medical appointments.
  • Missed school time, and lost parental work hours.

The National Federation of State High School Associations mandates mouthguards for the following:

  • Football.
  • Ice hockey.
  • Lacrosse.
  • Field hockey.
  • Wrestlers with braces.

How does a mouthguard work?

They work by “absorbing the energy imparted at the site of injury thus dissipating the remaining energy.”

3 Types of Mouthguards:

1. Custom-made by the dentist. These are superior in protection and comfort. Dr. Richards will take an impression of your mouth with putty, and have it made within three weeks.

2. Boil-and- bite or mouth-formed mouthguards. They are heated in hot water, and then adapted to the teeth by biting pressure. They are purchased over-the- counter, which vary in protection, comfort, and cost.

3. Stock or ready-made mouthguards. They are bought over-the- counter, and work by being held in place by clenching the teeth resulting in less protection. They serve children under orthodontic care and adolescents with a mix of baby and permanent teeth.