If your child is involved in sports, they should have a mouthguard. While there are one-size-fits-all readymade mouthguards available in sporting goods stores and online, these do not offer the level of protection provided by a mouthguard from a dentist. Below, we answer some of the most common questions parents have about mouthguards, including how much they cost, when they should be used, and how to take care of them.
What does a sports mouthguard cost?
The cost of a sports mouthguard depends on the brand or type being purchased. We offer SISU mouthguards, which are an affordable option that offers excellent protection. A SISU NextGen mouthguard costs $30.
What sports should my child use a mouthguard for?
Mouthguards should be worn for a number of different athletic activities, not just contact sports. If there’s a potential for injury, a mouthguard is a must. The American Dental Association recommends them for:
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
- Martial arts
- Roller hockey
- Shot putting
- Water polo
This is a lengthy list, but believe it or not, some experts still think it’s lacking! They recommend adding baseball and softball to the list as well. A mouthguard should be worn for both practices and competition.
What dental injuries does a mouthguard protect against?
Sports mouthguards are made to protect the teeth and jaw from fracture, luxation (a tooth that is still in the socket but has shifted or moved), and avulsion (a tooth that is completely knocked out). Mouthguards can also protect against soft tissue injuries, which often occur when a blow to the face or fall causes a child to bite their tongue, cheek, or lip.
Do mouthguards work?
Yes, a high-quality mouthguard works well and offers excellent protection from injury. The keyword here is quality, though—a stock mouthguard from a store doesn’t offer the same amount of protection as one from a dentist and they’re usually not as comfortable, which can make kids not want to wear them.
How long do mouthguards last?
A mouthguard can last up to five years with proper care, but they rarely last this long for children and teens. Part of this is because mouthguards wear out faster if they’re not cleaned, stored, and maintained properly, and it’s also because children’s teeth and bites are still growing and developing, so a mouthguard that fit snugly a year ago may no longer fit now.
How do you clean a sports mouthguard?
There are a few different ways to clean a mouthguard. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste, a soak in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, soap and water, or a store-bought mouthguard cleaner. A mouthguard should be cleaned after each use and rinsed before using. They should also be stored in a ventilated case to allow them to dry out thoroughly between uses.