Protect your kids’ smiles all summer long!
Whether you’re a soccer mom, a skateboarding mom, a cheerleading mom, a baseball mom, a BMX biking mom or a lacrosse mom, you not only lug around your kids to every practice and every meet, but you lug around their gear, too. That makes you MVP in our book! Yet, one thing you may not realize your kid needs, just as much as they need a helmet or cleats, is a well-fitting mouth guard.
According to the Academy for Sports Dentistry, as well as local orthodontic practice Aspire Orthodontics in Cleveland and Ooltewah, children ages 7 – 11 are more likely to get a sports related mouth injury than any other age group. These types of injuries can range from broken teeth to injuries to the lips, tongue, and cheek lining. Mouth guards, also known as mouth protectors, help cushion the blow, reducing these risks.
Dr. Michael Weathersby of Aspire Orthodontics also shared with us that choosing a mouth guard isn’t as easy as you might expect. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of mouth protectors you can find:
- Custom-made. A custom mold is created specifically for your child, and then three to four weeks later the mouth guard is ready to be worn. While these custom fit mouth guards are slightly more expensive, the benefit is that they fit your child’s teeth perfectly. This custom fit means they’re more comfortable and won’t accidentally fall out in the middle of a big moment. That’s a win!
- Boil and Bite. These mouth guards become soft in boiling water and then you place them into your child’s mouth. Your child will need to bite down so the plastic can form to the shape of their mouth and teeth. You can get these at any number of places like a sporting goods store or drugstore. Boil and bite mouth guards usually fit better than a stock mouth guards because there is some amount of customization. Make sure you choose a Boil and Bite mouth guard that has earned the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, like CustMbite MVP and CustMBite Pro.
- Stock Mouth Guards. These are usually very inexpensive and come ready to wear. While these won’t mold quite as well to your kids’ teeth as custom mouth guards or boil and bite mouth guards, they do provide added protection against any rogue balls that might fly your child’s way and damage teeth during sports. Bottom line: any facial protection is better than none!
Ultimately, the choice is yours, said Dr. Weathersby. One thing is certain: Make sure your kids’ smiles are well-protected this spring and summer – and year-round, for that matter. Your child should even wear a mouth guard when playing a sport you wouldn’t normally imagine needing one for, like gymnastics or skateboarding. You never know what types of accidents kids can have during physical activity! Mouth and jaw injuries can be painful and expensive to correct, so do your kids a favor and get them acquainted with using a mouth guard!
Contact Aspire Orthodontics’ offices in Cleveland and Ooltewah if you have any questions about which mouth guard is right for your child. The friendly doctor and team would be happy to make a recommendation for your family to ‘play it safe’ during sports activity. Aspire Orthodontics also offers free consultations for braces and Invisalign to patients of all ages.