Mouthguards are important for keeping teeth safe and protected during numerous activities. They are most commonly worn by children and athletes when participating in high-contact sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse, or any style of martial arts. Other reasons for wearing a dental guard can be to protect teeth at night during sleep or, as part of an orthodontic treatment plan.
Mouthguards aren’t made equally and can vary greatly in quality, composition, and cost. Care should be taken when selecting one, and any accompanying care accessories, that are right for your child.
Today, we’re sharing information on the different types of mouthguards as well as some helpful tips for selecting one that meets you and your child’s needs.
Tip 1: Mouthguards Must Be Made From Safe Materials
Products for children should always be constructed using safe and FDA-approved materials. And, products intended for oral use, such as mouthguards or dental retainers, should be thoroughly reviewed by parents prior to purchase to ensure safe materials were used in its construction.
Materials that should be avoided when choosing a dental guard for your child include:
- BPA bis-Phenylalanine
- Gluten, for those with gluten sensitivity or allergies
- Latex, for those with allergies to latex
Tip 2: A Mouthguard Must Fit Properly
Mouthguards must fit the person wearing it properly. Ones that are ill-fitting are less likely to prevent oral trauma resulting from impact or injury. Signs that your child has one that fits properly include:
- They can speak clearly.
- Breathing is not affected.
- They can swallow easily.
- The device stays in place without clenching or biting down.
- The guard is snug and secure against the upper teeth.
Tip 3: A Mouthguard Should Be Comfortable
Mouthguards should be comfortable for your child or teen to wear for several hours. Every mouth is different, so what one person may find comfortable may cause discomfort or even mild pain for another.
Before investing in multiple products to find one that’s perfectly comfortable for your child, find out what options are available in your child’s size. Ask other parents what brand they purchased for their kids.
Some brands of popular mouthguards for kids include:
- Oral Mart Youth Mouth Guard
- OPRO Snap-fit
Tip 4: How Long a Child Wears a Mouthguard Matters
Another option to consider is how long your child or teen will be wearing the mouthguard. The amount of time your child spends wearing it can guide you towards what type to invest in.
For example, if your child competes in martial arts events and competitions, they may spend several hours each week training and participating in their sport while wearing a mouthguard. In that case, purchasing one that’s more expensive, has better quality, and greater durability may be your preferred option.
Parents of kids who wear their mouthguard occasionally and for short periods of time may want to try a less expensive option. As long as the oral appliance fits well, doesn’t hinder breathing, speaking, or swallowing, an entry-level option should be as effective as the more expensive options.
Care for Your Mouthguard - Regardless of Price!
Mouthguards should receive the same amount of care regardless of the quality or price of the oral device. The best way to care for one when not being worn is to clean it every time before and after wearing the mouthguard and to store it in a durable case.
Tip 5: High-Impact Sports and Bruxism Mouthguards Should Be Resistant to Tearing
Mouthguards worn as protection while participating in high contact sports should be durable and robust. Not all product options provide the same resistance to shock and impact as others. Tear-resistant ones are a great investment to protect kids from dental injuries.
Some examples of situations where a tear-resistant dental guard is beneficial:
- To alleviate effects of Bruxism (grinding teeth at night)
- To prevent teeth, jaw, and skull from concussion in competitive high impact sports
Tear-resistant mouthguards can be custom created with help from your dentist or dental professionals.
Protect Your Kids Mouthguard with Help From RooTainer
After choosing the right mouthguard for your child, be sure to protect that investment with a RooTainer case. RooTainer cases are perfect to safely store and transport common oral appliances, such as dental retainers and mouthguards, and come in several fun colors! Visit our online shop to see which one your child or teen will LOVE!