The importance of mouthguards:

To protect the mouth and teeth from serious injury, a mouthguard, usually a flexible piece of plastic that fits into the mouth, should be worn during all recreational and athletic activities - especially activities where there is contact or potential contact with another person, piece of equipment, or the ground. In particular, mouthguards should be worn during the following sports:

  • Football.
  • Soccer.
  • Rugby.
  • Wrestling.
  • Baseball.
  • Softball.
  • Lacrosse.
  • Field hockey.
  • Ice hockey.
  • Martial arts.
  • Boxing.

Some of these sports require the use of a mouthguard at the amateur level.

Many recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling also pose a risk of injuring the mouth and teeth. Exercise caution during these activities.

Mouthguards and preventable injuries:

Injuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following, many of which could be prevented with proper and consistent use of a mouthguard:

  • Dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth.
  • Broken or chipped tooth.
  • Bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip.
  • Objects caught/lodged between the teeth.
  • Jaw fracture.
  • Neck injury.
  • Jaw collision - the upper jaw gets jammed into the lower jaw.

Types of mouthguards:

There are several types of mouthguards that can be used. The following are two of the most common types:

  • Pre-made mouthguards - One type is already made and can be found in most sport stores. There are different types and brands. Choose the one that fits best and is most comfortable.
  • Custom-made mouthguards - Your child's dentist can make a mouthguard specifically for your child. These may be more expensive, but usually are more comfortable for the child.

Consult your child's dentist regarding the best type of mouthguard to use.