Mouth guards are U-shaped coverings worn over teeth to protect the teeth and mouth from injury from teeth grinding and sports. They fit between the upper and lower teeth, protectively molding around the upper teeth. Use of mouth guard is recommended for your child if he/she is into sports especially those with a risk of dental injury like football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and boxing. A nocturnal bite plate or bite splint is made for children who grind their teeth at night.
Different types of mouth guards are available like:
- Preformed “Stock” mouth guards which offer some protection but are bulky and make talking and breathing difficult
- “Boil-and-bite” mouth guards used for children who are losing and growing teeth and have an ever-changing bite
- Custom-fit mouth guards, that are custom made in a dental office or professional laboratory and offer the best fit and comfort
- Orthodontic treatment mouth guards for braces and other appliances are loose-fitting and protect the mouth from appliance-related injury during sports and other activities
Mouth guards don’t prevent gradual tooth movement. They are usually comfortable, resist tears, durable and easy to clean, and do not restrict your breathing or speech. Use of mouth guards during any kind of physical activity can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your kid’s lips, tongue, and soft tissues of mouth. Mouth guards also help avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.