Don't Forget the Mouthguard

Every sport your child plays seems to include a giant list of equipment required in order to protect them. Everything from helmets, shin guards, elbow pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, etc. Except for a few sports like football and hockey, one important piece of protective equipment that often gets overlooked is a mouthguard. Mouthguards not only protect your teeth, but also help cushion against any form of impact to the head or face, possibly protecting against jaw injuries, lip or mouth lacerations-even concussions.

All Mouthguards Are Not Created Equal

You can buy mouthguards in most sporting goods stores and even the sport sections of many big box stores. These types of mouthguards are usually inexpensive and are “one size fits all.” Now a generic mouthguard is better than nothing and can work quite well for some kids. However, the biggest issue is getting them to fit properly. As someone who has tried to fit many of these through the years, I know it can get quite frustrating for parents–and scary for kids. Raise your hand if you like putting boiling hot silicone in your mouth! A better choice might be a custom fit mouthguard from the dentist. Your dentist will take an actual mold of your teeth so the mouthguard will fit perfectly, be more comfortable and more likely to be worn without complaint. They might cost a little more but are far less expensive than a costly tooth repair. Plus, no scalding hot water is needed!

All Mouthguards Are Not Created Equal

When it comes to your kids’ teeth, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is a list of suggested sports for mouthguard use:

– Football

– Soccer

– Ice/Roller Hockey

– Basketball

– Boxing

– Lacrosse

– Baseball/Softball

– Volleyball

– Wrestling

– Skiing/Snowboarding

– Racquetball

Not taking the proper precautions with your kid’s teeth can become painful and costly. The best way to avoid this potential pain and expense is with a properly fitted mouthguard. You can try one from a sports store and see if it works for you. However, a custom fit mouthguard will provide great protection and might even keep your child from complaining about having to wear it. A parent can dream, can’t they?