Teeth grinding and sports injuries can be detrimental to your child’s teeth. Taking precautions to protect them from external injury will greatly reduce the possibility of breaking or infecting teeth through trauma.
Mouth guards are designed to fit over the teeth. A perfect fit is achieved through mapping out your child’s mouth using dental impressions. The guard is created using these impressions, meaning that each mouth guard will be snug and secure, while still allowing your child to speak normally.
The different types of mouth guards include:
- Sports Guards
Many recreational activities, particularly sports, have the potential to cause injury. Sports guards protect the teeth using fitted rubberized shields that fit over the teeth. These types of guards reduce the shock of impacts, be they from a ball, puck, sporting equipment, or another player. Sports guards also help protect the tongue, lips, and jaw by absorbing shock from impacts.
Common activities where sports guards are recommended, include baseball, basketball, football, hockey, martial arts, skateboarding, soccer, and stunt bicycle riding.
- Night Guards
Night guards protect the teeth, but instead of protecting them from an external force injury, the night guard protects teeth from themselves. Some children experience excessive teeth grinding or clenching, a condition known as bruxism. Most often, bruxism occurs while the child is asleep and cannot consciously stop clenching or grinding their teeth. This condition results in worn down enamel on the teeth, which makes them more vulnerable to decay and infection.
Sports guards protect teeth, the tongue, lips, and gums from damage sustained through sports injuries. They greatly reduce the chances of getting broken teeth from an impact, which could lead to infections. Custom guards will fit far better than over the counter guards, providing better protection and versatility.
Mouth guards are prevalent in every major sport, even among professional players. The protection they offer gives a 75% reduced chance of sustaining an oral injury. Common activities where mouth guards are recommended, include:
- Martial arts
- Stunt bicycle riding
Store-Bought vs. Custom-Fit
- Store-Bought Sports Guards
Some families prefer to stick to “boil and bite” style mouth guards that can be purchased at a sporting goods store. These sports guards, while better than nothing at all, are not nearly as good at protecting your child’s teeth as a properly fitted guard would. These type of sports guards can:
- feel loose to the child since it is not customized to their mouth
- make breathing and speaking more difficult
- offer lower levels of protection than provided by a custom-fitted mouth guard
- interfere with existing orthodontics
Custom-Fit Sports Guard
For children age 6 to 12 who regularly participate in organized sports, custom mouth guards that can only be created at their dentist’s office are essential to protecting their teeth. Custom fit sports guards will leave space for new teeth that come in, preventing them from becoming misaligned during their eruption from the gums.
NABA Sports Guards
When creating a custom-fit sports guard, we take a dental impression of your child’s teeth. This impression maps out all of the teeth, orthodontics, and any space between teeth so we can create a mouth guard that is tailored specifically for them. Our guards will fit snugly over their teeth while still allowing them to be able to breathe and speak easily. We design our guards to fit your child’s bite and match them up to the specifications required for different sports, giving the child maximum versatility and maximum protection, regardless of what sport or recreational activity they’re involved in.
Night guards are used to protect a child’s teeth from grinding in their sleep. Grinding of teeth can wear away enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to decay and damage. Our custom guards will remain comfortably in place and protect teeth all night long.
Bruxism is a condition commonly found in children where they will clench their jaw and grind their teeth, usually in their sleep. This condition is often brought on by stress, be it at home, in school, or just from a new environment such as moving. Other research has suggested that the clenching and subsequent grinding is to release inner ear pressure, much like how chewing gum during takeoff and landing in a plane can relieve pressure changes.
More often than not, bruxism clears up as the child gets older. Usually between the ages of 6 and 9, the child will grind their teeth less and eventually stop between the ages of 9 and 12. If your child happens to continue grinding beyond this point in their life, or their grinding is having a very negative effect on their teeth, we can make a custom-fitted night guard to reduce the damage to their teeth.
Getting a professionally crafted night guard for your child will help reduce the impact of teeth grinding while still allowing them to sleep comfortably. Simply applying a mouth guard like one sold at a sport shop can be hazardous, as the guard can come loose and the child could choke, or the presence of the guard could inhibit the growth of the jaws.
Our custom crafted night guards are built off of a mold of your child’s teeth. These dental impressions allow us to design a mouth guard that will align perfectly in their mouth and leave space for any adult teeth that have yet to come in. The guard should stay firmly in place all night long and still allow your child to breathe normally. He or she will even be able to speak easily while wearing it as well.