Mouthguard – 3 quick checks before your child takes to the field
A good mouth guard minimizes risk of injury and allows your child to enjoy the sport they love without seriously harming their teeth or tongue.
A custom-fitted mouthguard protects more than just teeth – it helps absorb and spread the impact of a blow to the face, preventing jaw fractures, facial lacerations, concussions and base of skull injuries. It is more comfortable and offers more protection than an over-the-counter store bought mouthguards.
But no matter what mouthguard your child has, how do you ensure it is doing the job it is meant to do?
Three quick checks can ensure that your child is covered before they run onto the field
Check 1 – Can they wear it without clenching
If your child has to bite or clench to keep the mouthguard in place, then the mouthguard does not fit properly.
A mouthguard should stay securely and tightly on your upper teeth without falling out or shifting. And you definitely shouldn’t have to adjust it or play with it on the field, as that distraction may take your head out of the game.
Your guard should fit snug against your upper teeth, without needing to bite or clench the mouthguard
Check 2 – does your child gag ?
It’s pretty simple: If your mouthguard makes them gag, something is clearly wrong with the mouthguard.
In order to keep you from gagging, your mouthguard must avoid the soft palate — the fleshy, flexible part toward the back of the roof of the mouth.
A mouthguard cut properly provides better protection, as too much material towards the molars actually makes the mouthguard more uncomfortable without providing any additional protection. If a mouthguard is too bulky it will make it difficult to open and close your mouth.
Check 3 – Does it cover the gums and teeth?
While a mouthguard shouldn’t completely cover your entire upper jaw, it must fit over part of your gums.
Your mouthguard helps to protect your gums from lacerations, and more importantly, shields the roots of your teeth. Just because your teeth are covered by your guard doesn’t mean the roots are fully protected and teeth can’t be dislodged by contact.
We recommends that children, in particular, should obtain a custom mouthguard each year to ensure optimum protection since they are still growing and their mouths continue to change.