Custom mouthguards from your child’s dentist are the safest option.

Dental injuries are the most widespread type of facial injuries for athletes. Cracked, chipped, and knocked-out teeth are relatively common among athletes of all ages. If your child is playing sports, then they’re at risk of a dental injury, and so they need effective protection. A custom-fit mouthguard is the best choice for providing that protection.

Over-the-Counter vs. Custom-Fit Mouthguards

When choosing a mouthguard for your child, you have the choice between over-the-counter and custom-fit options. An over-the-counter mouthguard can be convenient and inexpensive, but it fails to deliver in other areas when compared to a custom-fit mouthguard that you get from a dentist.

Many over-the-counter solutions today rely on the “boil and bite” system. These genetically shaped mouthguards are boiled to make the plastic more malleable, and then the child bites down to create an imprint of their teeth. This is a fast and simple way to create a better fit than a smooth tray, but it isn’t anywhere as effective as a custom-fit mouthguard from your dentist.

Custom mouthguards are made by dentists for a wide range of uses, including both sports guards and night guards for dealing with tooth grinding. These guards are made to perfectly fit your child’s teeth, providing improved protection and comfort.

The mouthguard is made using either a physical impression or digital imaging of your child’s teeth. The Academy for Sports Dentistry specifically recommends custom-fit mouthguards instead of over-the-counter guards for use in sports.

Better Protection with a Custom Fit

A custom-fit mouthguard can provide better protection and avoid dental injury. Some of the most common dental injuries are caused by the upper and lower teeth coming together suddenly as the result of a fall or sudden impact. But this movement is prevented more effectively with a custom mouthguard than with an over-the-counter mouthguard.

An over-the-counter guard leaves more room for unintended movement due to its inferior fit, which could result in injury.

And finally, a custom-fit mouthguard is also less likely to come out of the mouth during impacts. This means that your child can depend on its protection when they need it most. Custom mouthguards provided by dentists for children can deliver the best protection during athletic activity.

A Higher Quality Mouthguard

The materials used in custom mouthguards are different from those used in over-the-counter guards. In many cases, over-the-counter options can become brittle very quickly. This reduces their ability to absorb impacts and increases the chance of a dental emergency from an accident.

The “boil and bite” process can also damage the material. If your child bites too hard, they can create a hole right through the material. The teeth at that point will have a significantly increased risk of damage during any impact. Air bubbles in the material can also reduce the level of protection.

The difference in materials used also affects how long these two types of mouthguards last. In general, over-the-counter mouthguards can lose their shape very quickly. This leads to them becoming unusable and unsafe after just a few months.

A custom-fit mouthguard is typically made of high-quality, long-lasting material. They can last for several years before needing to be replaced. It’s important to note, though, that children who have permanent teeth coming in can require a new custom-fit mouthguard, regardless of how well the material is holding up.

A Better Mouthguard Experience

A custom-fit mouthguard doesn’t just provide improved protection and longevity, it also provides a better experience for your child. They’ll be more comfortable and won’t have to deal with the issues that some over-the-counter mouthguards can cause. The higher-quality material is generally more comfortable in your child’s mouth. The poor fit of over-the-counter mouthguards can also cause jaw tension that can lead to soreness and pain.

Some over-the-counter mouthguards can also have an unpleasant taste that can make your child want to avoid wearing them. High-quality, custom-fit mouthguards are tasteless, preventing this issue. It’s also generally easier to breathe with a custom-designed mouthguard. Mouthguards that don’t fit very well can start to interfere with breathing, which becomes a major issue during strenuous sporting events.

There are also some issues that can develop over time due to poorly fitting mouthguards, although they are more common in night guards that are worn for longer periods of time. A poorly fitting mouthguard can affect healthy development, leading to problems with speaking, breathing, and swallowing.

A Custom-fit Mouthguard for Your Child

If your child is participating in sports, then a mouthguard is an important part of keeping them safe. Bloomington Modern Dentistry provides custom-fit mouthguards that deliver superior performance and longevity. You can schedule an appointment today to get the best protection for your child.