Does My Child Need A Sports Mouth Guard?

Mar 8, 2021

Whether your child plays baseball or lacrosse, you know how quickly a fun game can turn into a trip to the ER. The experienced team at Stellar Kids Dentistry in Mukilteo, Mill Creek, and Everett, Washington, strives to protect your little one’s smile. Not all sports injuries can be avoided, but a sports mouth guard can shield your child’s mouth from potential injury.

What is a sports mouth guard?

A sports mouth guard is a small device worn over your child’s top teeth. Made out of durable but flexible materials, like plastic, a sports mouth guard is designed to prevent mouth injuries. Children who play contact sports — football, rugby, basketball, soccer, etc. — are especially vulnerable to injuries of the mouth.

To protect your child’s teeth, gums, and other soft tissues, Stellar Kids Dentistry recommends considering a custom-made sports mouth guard.

What are the most common sports injuries?

A ball to the face, tripping on pavement, or running into another player head-on is all it takes for a dental emergency to happen. Common sports injuries that we often see at Stellar Kids Dentistry include:

  • Broken teeth
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Severely bitten tongue
  • Soft tissue lacerations 
  • Chipped teeth
  • Bitten lips
  • Broken jaw

We can treat nearly any dental injury at our offices. However, if your child has suffered an injury and their mouth won’t stop bleeding, we recommend taking them to your nearest emergency room.

Are there different types of sports mouth guards?

It’s important to choose a sports mouth guard that your child feels comfortable wearing. Every mouth guard should be resilient and flexible. Sports mouth guards that you may include for your family include:

Custom-made mouth guards

Custom-made sports mouth guards are individually designed for your child at Stellar Kids Dentistry. Not only are they comfortable, they also provide unmatched protection against sports injuries. That’s because custom-made mouth guards are designed using impressions of your child’s mouth.

At Stellar Kids Dentistry, we use digital X-rays and the iTero® Element intraoral scanner to create individualized digital impressions. This advanced device eliminates the need to take messy, uncomfortable mold impressions of your child’s teeth.

Custom-made mouth guards aren’t bulky like over-the-counter (OTC) options, so your child will feel at ease wearing one at their next big game.

Boil-and-bite sports mouth guards

A boil-and-bite mouth guard comes in a preformed shape. When you boil it, the material softens and turns into a mold. Once it’s soft, have your child place it in their mouth and bite down. When the mouth guard hardens, it should mold to your little one’s teeth.

While boil-and-bite mouth guards can protect your child’s teeth during sports, they aren’t as comfortable as custom-made devices. When our team creates your child’s custom-made mouth guard, we use a series of impressions to create the perfect fit. With boil-and-bite mouth guards, you only get one try to create an appliance that feels comfortable.

Prefabricated sports mouth guards

A prefabricated mouth guard is preformed and ready to wear. As a result, they don’t usually fit very well and tend to be quite bulky. While affordable, preformed mouth guards often need replacement because the fit can become too uncomfortable.

A custom-made mouth guard is the best tool to protect your child’s mouth from sports injuries. To learn more, call the experts at Stellar Kids Dentistry or book an appointment online today!