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Spring is here which means children will start their basketball, lacrosse, softball or baseball practices.  With the excitement of spring sports also comes the long list of new equipment they are likely to need!  While you’re picking up new running shorts and shoes, remember to make an appointment to get your child’s mouth guard to protect their smiles!

Did you know that 3 million students are expected to lose their teeth due to sports related injuries this year alone?  This means that there are three million avoidable cases that will total up to millions of dollars in medical fees.

The American Dental Association recommends a custom-fitted mouth guard to be used in any sport that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.  Though stock mouth protectors or mouth guards may be less expensive, they tend to be bulky and ill fitting.  Your dentist can mold a mouth guard to fit your mouth that makes it easy for you to breathe and protect your pearly whites.  With so many options, which do you choose?

Pro Baseball Player Manny Ramirez seen wearing a a mouth guard, image via Google

According to the ADA, there are three different styles of mouth guard:

  1. Stock
    Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, the one size fits all usually doesn’t provide a secure fit for sports.  These stock mouth guards can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  2. Boil and bite
    Boil and bite mouth protectors can also be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. If you don’t follow the directions carefully you can wind up with a ill-fitting mouth protector.
  3. Custom-fitted
    Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made by your dentist for you personally. While these tend to be a bit more expensive, they are customized so they generally offer better protection than other mouth guards.

Does your child wear a mouth guard when they play sports?  If not, schedule a dentist appointment to have one custom-fitted for their smiles so they will not be one of the three million children who will lose teeth this year due to sports-related injuries.

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