Protecting Kids' Teeth During Sports

Wearing a mouth guard during sports activities is one of the best ways to avoid injuries to your child’s teeth and emergency dental care. Mouth guards, which are made from a plastic or rubber material and fit over the top arch of teeth, not only protect your teeth but also protect lips and cheeks from being damaged by teeth during an impact.

What many children and their parents fail to realize is that mouth guards should be worn even when participating in low contact sports. While we’re used to seeing football, basketball, lacrosse and hockey players wearing mouth guards, they should also be worn by soccer players, skateboarders, skiers and snowboarders, gymnasts and ice skaters. If you can imagine any kind of impact to the face in the sport your child participates in, it’s worth it to protect their teeth with a sports guard.

The best option for a sports guard is to have it custom-made by your kid’s dentist. Custom-fit mouth guards fitted by a dentist have been shown in studies to offer the best possible protection for teeth. In addition to being more effective, dentist-made mouth guards are more comfortable and are less likely to impede breathing because they are designed to fit your child’s mouth specifically. The more comfortable the mouth guard is, the more likely your child will actually wear it! And of course, the less likely they’ll need emergency dental care.

There are also over-the-counter options for mouth guards, including ready-made and boil-and-bite guards. However, to ensure that these are effective at preventing injury, you should only buy those that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Mouthguards that don’t have this seal may not meet the dental profession’s standards for protecting teeth and lips.

We should also note that only mouth guards custom made by a dentist have been proven to protect against concussions/traumatic brain injury from an impact [source]. Over-the-counter options do not provide nearly as much protection from concussions.

Sports mouth guards should be replaced every season. Replacements are necessary because mouth guards can wear out over time but also because children’s teeth are still moving and developing, which can affect whether the mouth guard fits properly over time.

Be sure that your child has their sports guard well before their sports season or training starts so they can get used to how it feels. Make an appointment with your kid's dentist to talk about getting a sports guard as soon as possible!

Ask Questions

We will gladly answer any questions you may have.

  Ask Questions

Blog

Heritage Lane Dental - A Local Edmonton Heritage of Family Dental Care!

  Read our Blog

New Patient Forms

By filling out the New Patient Forms ahead of time you will save significant time on your visit.

  New Patient Forms