Why Young Athletes Need Custom Mouth Guards

Columbus Mouth Guard Dentist

While youth sports injuries are common — especially those to the mouth, teeth, and jaw — many can be avoided or minimized with the use of a properly fitted athletic mouth guard. Our Columbus dentist recommends children wear mouth guards for football, hockey, wrestling, and other contact sports.

Young athletes that play non-contact sports can also benefit from wearing mouth guards. For example, sports dental injuries are common from rollerblading, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and skateboarding.

The overall cost of repairing a tooth well exceeds the minor cost of a properly fitted mouth guard. Thankfully, these sports dental injuries can be prevented by wearing mouth guards properly-fitted by your family dentist. Our dentist can ensure proper fit and function of your child’s mouth guard to help prevent costly and debilitating oral or facial injuries during sports participation.

Mouth guards

Sports mouth guards are worn over your child’s upper teeth to protect against oral injury during sports participation. A properly fitted mouth guard should be durable, easy to clean, comfortable, tear resistant, and allow your child to breathe and talk normally. Our sports dentistwill create a custom mouth guard designed to protect your child’s teeth from a contact injury to the mouth or facial area.

There are four types of mouth guards:

Stock Mouth Guard

A stock mouth guard is a basic mouth guard that is inexpensive, comes ready to wear, and can be found at sporting good stores. These pre-formed mouth guards are uncomfortable, disrupt breathing or talking, and provide minimal protection. Our dentist does not recommend stock mouth guards because you cannot adjust them to fit properly.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guard

Boil and bite mouth guards fit better than stock mouth guards and are made from thermoplastic material. Like the name suggests, you are able to soften these mouth guards by boiling them. While the mouth guard is soft, your child bites into the material to have it match the shape of their teeth. While boil and bite mouth guards offer minimal protection, they are better than stock mouth guards.

Custom Mouth Guard

Custom mouth guards are created in a dental lab to offer the ultimate protection against sports dental injuries. First, your child’s pediatric dentist will take an impression of your child’s teeth. These dental impressions are then sent to a lab where your child’s mouth guard will be made. Due to the materials used and precise tooling required to ensure proper fit, these mouth guards cost more but offer more comfort and protection.

Custom Mouth Guard for Braces

For children who wear braces or another fixed dental appliance, your dentist will create a mouth guard for your child’s lower teeth as well. Mouth guards for braces are important because they prevent damage to teeth, wires, and brackets.

Why Custom Mouth Guards Offer More Protection

The generic mouth guards bought at sporting good stores do not offer adequate support for an athlete’s teeth. Everyone’s teeth have unique characteristics. Not to mention, age, gender, sport, competition level, and position all play important roles in the type of mouth guard your child needs to properly protect their teeth and jaw.

Dr. Adam Gibson DDS and his team at Gibson Dental are dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles through quality dental services. If your child will be playing contact sports this year, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our Columbus sports dentist at (614) 878-9562.