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Mouth Guards


A child playing football with the proper protective mouth guard on from Nelson R. Diers Orthodontics Whether it’s football, soccer, or basketball, sports are a great way for your child to get active and be involved. However, when it comes to contact sports especially, there are some risks for injury. To protect your child, you make sure that they wear all of the right protective gear like knee pads or shin guards. Mouth Guards are also a crucial component of your child’s protection. At Nelson R. Diers Orthodontics, we can help to protect your child’s oral health with a custom fit mouth guard.

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What is a Mouth Guard?


Sports-related dental injuries account for approximately 10% to 40% of all dental injuries in children. A mouth guard is an oral device that is designed to protect your child’s mouth. It covers their teeth and cushions them in the event of an impact. Functions of a mouth guard include:
•  Protecting their teeth from serious injuries. It can also prevent them from getting knocked out.
•  Protecting their oral tissues from facing injuries, such as lacerations.
•  Protecting their jaw from fractures and dislocation.


Types of Mouth Guards


There are a few different types of mouth guards:
•  Stock mouth guards. A stock mouth guard can be found at just about any sporting goods store. While they are the most affordable option, they are pre-molded. These mouth guards may not fit their mouth properly and can make it difficult for your child to breathe while playing. It can also increase their risk for injury.
•  Boil and bite mouth guards. A boil and bite mouth guard can also be found at most sporting goods stores. This type of mouth guard comes unmolded. Instead, you drop the mouth guard into boiling water for a couple of minutes, which softens the material. You then let it cool slightly, and your child bites into it. This provides a semi-custom fit.
•  Custom-fit mouth guards. At Nelson R. Diers Orthodontics, we can provide your child with a custom fit mouth guard. This type of mouth guard is made from 3-dimensional images of their mouth and provides your child with superior protection.


Care for Mouth Guards


For your child’s mouth guard to protect their teeth, it needs to be taken care of properly. It should be rinsed with water before and after each use (brushing with toothpaste is better). Every so often, it should be washed with soap and water. When not in use, the mouth guard should be stored in a hard, protective case. The case should have vents, or air holes, to promote airflow. This will help to prevent bacterial growth. Make sure that your child does not leave their mouth guard exposed to heat or direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. The moment you notice damage or signs of wear, it is time for a replacement. Damaged mouth guards cannot properly protect your child’s mouth.

Benefits of Mouth Guards


Mouth guards offer numerous benefits for your child:
•  They act as a shock absorber in the event of a collision while playing.
•  They protect their jaw from facing dislocation or fractures.
•  They reduce the risk of experiencing a concussion.
•  You save money. Because mouth guards prevent serious dental injuries, you do not have to worry about paying for expensive dental procedures.

Are you interested in learning more about mouth guards? Give us a call at (513) 829-4400. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!
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