Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mouthguards Are Important - The best ones are made by your dentist!

Playing sports is an activity that promotes a healthy body, enjoyed by parents as much as children and promotes better social interaction among your peers.

As a dentist I am very aware of the need to educate my patients in the use of mouthguards when someone in the family is involved in active sports.
It is so sad when I see a young child that has broken a brand new virgin permanent tooth from some trauma to the mouth when playing sports.  And this happens often.

I believe strongly that children and adults participating in sports should get a professionally  made mouthguard to protect their teeth from accidental injury.

Here is some information about mouthguards.  There are three types:

  1. Prefabricated
  2. Formed in the mouth
  3. Custom made mouthguards

The prefabricated mouthguard is the least expensive of the three types described, but it is bulky and uncomfortable, and therefore it does not get worn.  It is not very popular and may be difficult to find anyplace selling them (they are not recommended).

The second choice is a mouthguard that is formed in the mouth.  It is usually obtained at sporting goods and department stores, and provides a silicone tray blank that you need to immerse in hot water until moldable, and then place in your mouth while it is soft and attempt to mold it while it is in the mouth.
This type gives some protection and is less expensive than the custom fitted mouthguard, but it is still bulkier, does not fit accurately, may interfere with breathing and is unfomfortable to wear.

The third type, the custom mouthguard is the best fitting and the most comfortable to wear.  It is also the one that affords the most protection to the teeth in the event of a blow to the mouth or face.  It is usually made by a dentist after taking a mold of the person’s teeth.  This is the most expensive of the three, but if protection and comfort is important, it is the one to get.

I urge all parents to talk to their dentist and find out how easy it is to get a custom made mouthguard for any family member involved in sports.

Carlos Boudet, DDS
1840 Forest Hill Blvd, Suite 204
West Palm Beach, Florida  33406