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Mouthguards Help Keep Them in the Game

Boy with black mouthguard in mouthWhether your child wears braces or not, protecting their smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries received by athletes, and mouthguards can help protect their teeth and gums. If your child participates in basketball, baseball, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, or wrestling, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that they wear a mouthguard.

Types of Mouthguards

Teen boy placing green sportsguard

Choosing the right mouthguard is important. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard. When you choose a mouthguard for your child, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, well fitted for their mouth, and easy to keep clean. Also, make sure it does not prevent them from breathing properly during use. If they wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for them to wear a mouthguard. Their dentist can show them how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect their smile.

Taking Care of Their Mouthguard

Purple mouthguard on tabletop

Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important for your child to take care of their mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean. They should also know when to replace an old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways they can keep their mouthguard clean and working correctly:

  • Gently scrub the mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Store the mouthguard in a protective case.
  • Do not leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
  • Replace the mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. They should also replace their mouthguard if you/they notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
  • They should not wear a retainer with their mouthguard. If they have braces, their dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect both their teeth and their braces.
  • They should not chew on or cut pieces off of their mouthguard.
  • Bring their mouthguard to each dental checkup so their dentist can check to make sure it's still in good shape.

Our goal is to help minimize their chances of experiencing a sports-related injury. Be sure to ask their dentist about mouthguards at their next dental checkup!

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