In particular, mouthguards should be worn during the following sports:
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
- Martial arts
Some of these sports require the use of a mouthguard at the amateur level.
Many recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling also pose a risk of injuring the mouth and teeth. Exercise caution during these activities.
Mouthguards and preventable injuriesInjuries to the teeth, mouth, and head may include the following, many of which could be prevented with proper and consistent use of a mouthguard:
- Dislodged or knocked out tooth/teeth
- Broken or chipped tooth
- Bitten or lacerated tongue and/or lip
- Objects caught/lodged between the teeth
- Jaw fracture
- Jaw collision--the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw
Types of mouthguardsThere are several types of mouthguards that can be used. The following are three of the most common types:
- Pre-made mouthguards. One type is already made and can be found in most sports stores. There are different types and brands. Choose the one that fits best and is most comfortable.
- Boil and Bite. Available at sporting good stores, these mouthguards are softened in hot water, then adapted to the mouth while still soft.
- Custom-made mouthguards. Your child's dentist can make a mouthguard specifically for your child. These may be more expensive, but usually are more comfortable for the child.
Ask your child's dentist about the best type of mouthguard to use.