Mouth Guards for Children
Few things are as important as protecting the teeth of a child on the athletic field. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye when children are competing. At Elegance Dental in Southington, CT, we understand the importance of protecting the teeth of our young patients so we always recommend young athletes use a mouth guard. A mouth guard will also reduce the risk of injuries to a child’s face, jaw, tongue and lips.
A mouth guard is an essential piece of equipment for any child participating in a recreational activity or a sporting event, according to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). The guard is inserted over a child’s upper teeth to protect the area from injury and reduce the degree of force in the event of a traumatic impact. At Elegance Dental, we recommend any child who participates in a sporting activity, whether it’s a practice or a game, should wear a mouth guard. Mouth guards can be purchased at any pharmacy, drug or sporting goods store. Elegance Dental can also make customized guards.
- Stock mouth guards – These are inexpensive and easy to find at many stores, but tend to be uncomfortable, obstruct proper breathing and speaking and provide the least amount of protection for a child’s teeth.
- Boil and bite mouth guards – These are more expensive, but offer more protection for a child’s teeth and are more comfortable. They allow for better breathing and speaking. Sold in most sporting goods stores, they are made from thermoplastic and must be submerged in hot water to form the custom mold of your child’s teeth by pressing them in the mouth.
- Customized mouth guards – These are custom-made by our dentist and offer the best protection. An impression of the child’s teeth is taken, then the mouth guard is made from the mold. Customized guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable and fully approved by the AAPD.
Teeth grinding or bruxism, is a well-known pediatric dental condition. It is estimated that as many as 35 percent of all children experience mild to severe bruxism as they grow. A night guard is a particular type of mouth guard that is used to reduce the affects of teeth grinding or bruxism as children grow. Because children grind their teeth while sleeping, most are unaware of the condition and the damage that can be caused to the teeth. Common signs of teeth clenching or grinding include: chronic jaw pain, waking up with a tight or tired feeling in the jaw, constant tension headaches or excessive teeth wear. Excessive grinding can lead to chipped, flattened, cracked or worn teeth.
If you want more information on mouth guards for your child, call Elegance Dental today at (860) 965-5995 for a consultation.