At Dentistry Of West Bend, we recommend that all athletes protect their health by wearing an athletic mouthguard while participating in physical activities that could result in an injury to or impact on the mouth, face, or head.

What Is an Athletic Mouthguard?

An athletic mouthguard is an oral prosthetic device made from plastic that fits over the top row of teeth. Athletic mouthguards are designed to be worn during sports and athletic activities that have a potential risk of injury to the mouth or other facial structures.

Types of Athletic Mouthguards

Several different types of athletic mouthguards can offer various levels of comfort and protection.

  • Stock or Ready-Made Mouthguards – These mouthguards come in a few preset sizes and styles and do not offer a customized fit. Ready-made mouthguards are available at a variety of price points, typically with more expensive products providing better protection and comfort.
  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards – Boil-and-bite mouthguards are slightly customizable. They are purchased in pre-set sizes but are designed to be boiled (to soften the plastic) and then bit down on to customize to the user’s bite (teeth patterns).
  • Custom-Designed Mouthguards – Custom-designed mouthguards are each individually designed at our dental office to achieve a perfect, comfortable fit in addition to superior protection.

Which Type of Mouthguard Is Right for Your Child?

Each type of athletic mouthguard offers different benefits and drawbacks. The one that’s right for your child depends on your child’s individual needs, comfort level, oral health history, and your dental care budget.

Top 5 Reasons to Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Football

1. Help to Prevent Head Injuries

When playing a contact sport, children are at a high risk of suffering from concussion – even if they’re wearing a helmet for protection. When a player is impacted by another player or pushed to the ground, the teeth can close together with incredible force. This sends a shockwave throughout the child’s head which can cause a concussion.

Athletic mouthguards are designed to provide a cushion between the top and bottom rows of teeth. This cushion helps to absorb the shock that occurs upon impact, helping to prevent concussive damage and other head injuries.

2. Protect Your Child’s Teeth

In addition to absorbing the shock to help prevent head injuries, mouthguards also protect an athlete’s teeth from becoming chipped, fractured, or otherwise damaged when the teeth bite down too hard against each other. Mouthguards also help to protect the teeth from damage as a result of an impact with another player, the ground, or sports equipment.

3. Protect Your Child’s Soft Tissues

When the teeth clench together quickly, soft tissues inside the mouth are also at risk for injury and damage. Athletic mouthguards also protect the soft tissues inside an athlete’s mouth (tongue and cheek tissues) from accidentally being bitten with great force.

4. Protect Your Child’s Dental Work

If your child has had any dental work done on his or her mouth such as dental fillings, dental bridges, dental caps, or cosmetic treatments, these dental repairs and devices are at risk of being damaged in contact sports. Ensuring your child’s mouth is well-protected with an athletic mouthguard during sports is also a smart way to protect the investment you have already made in your child’s oral health.

5. Protect Your Child’s Orthodontia

Athletic mouthguards not only protect your child’s natural anatomy from injury, but they also help to protect any orthodontic appliances your child currently has in place. We strongly recommend custom-designed athletic mouthguards for children who have braces, spacers, or other orthodontia inside their mouths. A custom-designed athletic mouthguard is designed to fit comfortably over these orthodontic devices without damaging them while protecting them from potential harm or damage during contact sports and other physical activities.

Superior Protection With Custom-Designed Athletic Mouthguards

At Dentistry Of West Bend, we can help you determine the best type of athletic mouthguard for your child, depending on their individual needs, stage of development, and the type of sport they participate in.

In addition to football, participation in a variety of athletic activities can put your child’s oral health at risk. Your child might benefit from an athletic mouthguard if he or she participates in any activity that involves the use of balls or other airborne objects, bats, or sticks and activities that present a risk of falling such as horseback riding, bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating, and ice skating.

To learn more about athletic mouthguards and custom-designed mouthguards or to schedule an appointment for your child, we welcome you to contact Dentistry Of West Bend today!