Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.
Children and adults who play contact sports such as rugby, soccer, basketball and field hockey are often at risk of injury to their mouth and teeth. Non-contact sports and recreational activities e.g. skateboarding, cycling, gymnastics etc. can also present injury risks.
As accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of wearing a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Mouth guards also help your child avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.
Custom Mouth Guards
Although you can purchase preformed and ready to wear mouth guards from most chemists, dentists do not recommend their use as they offer little or no protection. Your child might find that they are bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult. ‘Boil and bite’ mouth protectors which can also be bought at many sporting goods stores are marginally better as they can be placed in hot water to soften and then shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
Children who still have their first set of teeth or who wear braces have specific needs, as their mouth guards must take tooth movement and additional orthodontic devices into account in order for a good level of fit and protection.
The use of a custom-fitted mouth guard, which is provided in consultation with our dentists, will dramatically reduce the risk of serious dental injury. This will allow your child to enjoy their sporting activities – and allow you to enjoy peace of mind.
Our custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a professional laboratory based our dentist’s instructions. Our dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material.
Generally, mouth guards cover your child’s upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if the child wear braces), we will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Our dentist can suggest the best mouth guard for your child. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict breathing or speech.
Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage.