Mouth Guards

Many kids and teens in Long Island love to play sports. Whether they’re involved in a rec team or players on an official school squad, football, basketball, soccer, hockey and more are major parts of the school experience for many children. The exercise that children get from playing sports can help them to build healthy habits over the years and build great social interactions as well. However, it’s also important that kids stay safe while playing sports.

Basic safety gear like shin guards, helmets and shoulder pads can be important to playing sports safely and successfully. It’s also important to help children protect their teeth and face playing sports. Around 10 to 20% of all sports injuries involve facial and dental injuries, and some of these can cause permanent damage. A custom mouthguard from Clock Tower Dental can provide much-needed protection for your kids’ sports activities.

For over 20 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has emphasized the importance of mouthguards as essential safety gear for many sports. Dental injuries can be all too common in any sport where collisions and falls are often part of the game, from football to soccer to cheerleading. By wearing a mouthguard, kids can give extra protection to their teeth, jaw, face, and mouth while on the field. Some research even indicates that mouthguards can provide some protection against concussions.

What Is a Mouth Guard?

A sports mouthguard is a plastic device. Your child can bite into the mouthguard, which is worn over the teeth. This device can provide greater injury protection not only against broken or missing teeth but also to the jaw, cheeks, and lips more generally. Mouthguards are made from a soft, springy plastic that absorbs the shocks that come with collisions and other injury-causing accidents. It can protect soft and hard tissues in the mouth from the effects of a sports injury.

Dental Injuries in Sports

There are various types of facial and dental injuries kids and teens may experience while playing sports, including:

  • Broken and chipped teeth
  • Root tooth fractures
  • Teeth knocked out or displaced
  • Teeth pushed back or forward

If your child experiences a mouth injury during a sports game, seek immediate dental care. Time is critical to ensure the best results.

Choosing a Mouthguard

There are several types of mouthguards that you can opt for when looking for ways to protect your children’s teeth. Stock mouthguards are available at sports stores. These are widely available and often inexpensive. However, as they come in standard sizes only, they can fit poorly and are often uncomfortable. Kids may be reluctant to wear them, and they may provide less protection than a more custom fitted option.

Some sporting goods stores also sell moldable mouthguards, which can be boiled in water and placed in a child’s mouth to take its shape. These provide a higher level of comfort and protection, but they are still less precise than a custom mouthguard in Long Island from your dentist at Clock Tower Dental.

Professional athletes use custom-fitted mouthguards. These can be an important investment for the families of children and teens, especially those who are serious about pursuing sports. A child may be able to use the mouthguard for more than one sport, and injury protection is critical for kids with eyes toward a long career in sports. In addition to high levels of protection, they are the most comfortable option, and kids with custom-fitted mouthguards are more likely to wear them during a game.

How Are Custom Mouthguards Made?

Your Long Island dentist will create a custom mouthguard. First, an impression is taken of the child’s mouth, which includes the gum line, teeth and the contours of the mouth overall. There are both heavy-duty and slim mouthguards available, depending on the sport played and the relative risk of dental injury associated with it. Sports like football, soccer, lacrosse, and boxing have higher risks of dental injuries, while cycling and racquetball come with lower risks.

The experienced dentists at Clock Tower Dental can help your kids be fully prepared for their next sports game by fitting a custom mouthguard. Contact our office at 516-874-2317 or use our online form to make an appointment with one of our Franklin Square dentists.

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