If you have a child in sports, you’ve already relinquished some funds for equipment, uniforms, lessons, league fees and other expenses. The last thing you may want to do is buy a custom mouthguard for your child to wear on the playing field. However, before you run to the sporting goods store for a cheaper, over-the-counter mouthguard, you should know the benefits of getting one from your dentist.
More Effective, Better Protection
A custom mouthguard is fabricated to fit every crevice and groove of your child’s unique teeth. Therefore, it won’t slip out unexpectedly, or during a direct hit or hard fall. In fact, studies have compared the use of custom mouthguards to “boil-and-bite” models and determined the difference in protection. According to a recent study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), high school football players wearing store-bought mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injures (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards. Custom mouthguards prevent head injuries as well as chipped teeth, knocked out teeth, jaw damage and oral lacerations. They are made of higher quality material and fit exceedingly better than store-bought methods.
More Comfortable, Stay in Place
For the same reason they are more effective, custom mouthguards are also more comfortable. The ability to fit snugly across every tooth of your child’s bite means that you won’t see them playing with the mouthguard during the game or pushing it in and out with their tongue between plays. A mouthguard that is comfortable is one that is kept in place, and one that will do its job of protecting their smile. Store-bought mouthguards tend to be a thicker and harder material, which can be very uncomfortable during a long practice or game. In contrast, a custom mouthguard allows your child to comfortably breathe and speak while keeping it firmly in its proper position!
More Durable, Long-term Wear
We can’t say a custom mouthguard is indestructible, but it will certainly last much longer than a boil-and-bite mouthguard from the drugstore. In fact, you should get multiple seasons of use out of it before it needs to be replaced. If you notice signs of wear or a change in the way your custom guard fits, always tell your dentist so that a better model can be made.
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, getting a custom athletic mouthguard is easy and quick. All we need is an impression of your teeth, which takes just a few minutes. We will send off your precise measurements to a lab where your new mouthguard will be fabricated. We believe that a customized mouthguard gives patients a much longer return on their investment, and when it comes to protecting your child’s smile, a first-rate solution is required.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,