Why Young Athletes Need Custom Mouth Guards

West Columbus Mouthguard Dentist

Why Young Athletes Need Custom Mouth Guards

West Columbus Mouthguard 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, OH, 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, dental injuries are common from rollerblading, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and skateboarding.

Here’s an overview of mouth guards plus why our dentist recommends one to prevent costly and debilitating oral injuries during sports participation.

Mouth Guards: How They Work

Sports mouth guards are specialized oral appliances designed to provide protection for athletes during physical activities, namely contact sports. These essential pieces of equipment are carefully engineered to withstand the impact and pressure exerted during sports, ensuring that your teeth and oral structures remain safe.

The basic structure of a sports mouth guard consists of multiple layers, each serving a specific purpose. The outermost layer is designed to resist abrasions and impacts, whereas the inner layers are constructed to absorb and disperse forces, which are vital for preventing injuries. This layered design ensures that the mouth guard not only remains durable but also effectively keeps your teeth and oral tissues from sustaining damage.

The Four Types of Mouth Guards Include:

1. 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 goods stores. These pre-formed mouth guards are uncomfortable, can disrupt breathing or talking, and may only provide minimal protection. Dr. Gibson does not recommend stock mouth guards because you cannot adjust them to fit properly.

2. 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.

3. Custom Mouth Guard

Custom mouth guards are created in a dental lab to offer the ultimate protection against sports dental injuries. First, Dr. Gibson 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.

While store-bought mouth guards are tempting due to their cheaper prices, they might not always last you as long or fit quite as you’d like them to. This is because they’re made for the mass market and not you specifically. On the other hand, a mouth guard created by Dr. Gibson is designed for your teeth which means the device will be the most comfortable for you and you only.

4. Custom Mouth Guard For Braces

For children who wear braces or another form of orthodontic treatment like Invisalign® clear aligners, Dr. Gibson 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.

Ask About Custom Mouth Guards Today

The generic mouth guards bought at sporting goods 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.

Our dentist in Columbus, OH, and his team are dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles through quality dental services. If you or your child will be playing contact sports this year, we recommend calling Gibson Dental today at (614) 878-9562 to request an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.