Mouth guards are worn by professional athletes, and they should be worn by children, teens, and adults who engage in the occasional game of basketball or baseball. Children who practice martial arts, surf, or ride horses also need protective gear in the event of a hit or fall. A mouth guard may be purchased at a sporting goods store. Here, parents will find pre-formed or “boil and bite,” mouth guards which can give the illusion of a better fit. There are also customized mouth guards that are designed in the dental office. For a child to have the best protection, Greensboro dentists and pediatricians recommend the use of a comfortable, well-fitting guard.
Getting a mouth guard is not about convenience or price; it is about protecting the growing jaw and developing teeth. In some instances, existing orthodontia must also be encased beneath it. A mouth guard should fit tightly around teeth, but be comfortable. It should not get in the way of heavy breathing. A child should be able to speak clearly with a well-made mouth guard. The appliance should be durable enough not to tear or become misshapen with regular use. If a mouth guard purchased at a store or provided by a team does not meet these standards, it is not likely to deliver the full protection necessary to prevent injury. For a custom-fit mouth guard made with professional-grade materials, you can speak with Dr. Isharani or Dr. Hatcher.
The mouth guard requires care to last as long as it can. A mouth guard is intended for one person only. It should not be shared, even amongst family. When not in use, the mouth guard should be kept in a container with good ventilation. After each use and before storing, the piece should be gently washed with soap and tepid water. With good care, a mouth guard should last at least a season, sometimes an entire year. We encourage patients to bring their guards in to our office so we can evaluate them for optimal strength and cleanliness. Drs. Hatcher and Isharani have established a family-friendly dental office in which patients in and around Greensboro can receive the level of care they deserve. To discuss dental care and protection during sports, call our office at (336) 383-1482.
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