Should my child wear a mouth guard?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

By: Michael J. Schuh, DDS

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The importance of mouth guards, in regards to children and athletics, has changed quite a bit over the years. When I was a kid playing sports, not too many people wore mouth guards. Now more and more children are wearing them.



I coach high school girls basketball and about half of my team wears mouth guards, but I always try to get more of my players to wear one. The reason I want them to wear a mouth guard? Ten percent to 20 percent of sport injuries happen in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region.


When worn on a regular basis, mouth guards can prevent 200,000 mouth injuries per year. Mouth injuries are 60 times more common in children who do not wear mouth guards.


There are two different types of mouth guards: the standard mouth guard that you boil in water and form to your teeth and the custom type which can be made by your dentist.


I recommend the custom mouth guard as it will fit and protect your teeth better; however, if that’s not a possibility, any mouth guard you buy at an athletic store is better than going without one.

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