Unfortunately, kids plus sports occasionally equals injuries. Whether on the ball field, basketball court, skateboarding or biking, each year thousands of youths get injured while participating in sports. The last thing your child thinks about when stepping out to play is protecting their teeth. Blows and accidents to the face can result in injured teeth, lips, cheeks or tongue.
A properly fitted mouth guard should be part of your child’s uniform so as to protect their teeth and smile. There are three types of mouth guards: A stock, ready-made guard, a “boil and bite” mouth guard or a dentist can custom make a guard. They all provide some protection but vary in comfort, cost and amount of protection.
An effective mouth guard should be durable and easy to clean. It should fit comfortably and not inhibit breathing in any way. Usually a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth but the dentist may suggest also using a lower guard.
Here are some points for taking care of a mouth guard:
• Before and after use, rinse it with cold water or a mouth rinse. It also can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
• When not in use store the mouth guard in a container that permits air to circulate and prevents the mouth guard from being damaged or eaten by the dog or cat.
• Avoid leaving it in high temperatures because the heat can distort the mouth guard so that it doesn’t fit properly.
• Bring the mouth guard to your regular check-up with the dentist so he/she can make sure it is still in good condition and fitting properly.
Ensure that your child keeps that beautiful smile for their lifetime … get them a sports mouth guard!
Dr. Paul Rodeghero, a 1983 graduate of Ohio State University Dental School, practices at Clearwater Family Dental, 706 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater.