What You Need To Know About Mouth Guards And Protecting Youth Athlete's Braces

Posted on: 4 October 2015

If you've invested thousands of dollars in your child's braces, you want to protect them any way possible. But if they're an athlete that doesn't wear a mouth guard, they are putting their braces and their health at great risk with every game.

Mouth Guards Are Necessary To Protect Your Child's Braces

If your child with braces is involved in any type of sport, a mouth guard can help protect them from serious mouth injuries. Just imagine a basketball player with braces running into an opponent while jumping for a rebound: the potential for serious cuts and even broken braces skyrockets without a mouth guard.

In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics has reported that up to 84% of all child athletes don't wear mouth guards. That's because many contact sports (such as baseball or volleyball) don't require them. But rough physical play is possible even in these sports (such as sliding into home in baseball or getting hit in the face with a volleyball).

They Are Fairly Inexpensive

Mouth guards are one of the cheapest ways to protect your athlete child's braces. In fact, non-fitted guards can cost as little as $1. However, the best protection lies in custom-fitted guards, which generally cost anywhere from $190 to $500. Unfortunately, mouth guards are often not covered by insurance, but if you compare that to the thousands of dollars that braces cost even with dental insurance, $500 suddenly seems like a small investment.

Choosing The Right Guard Is Important

You simply can't buy the first mouth guard that you see and expect great results. Finding a mouth guard requires considering the shape of your child's mouth and the contour of their braces. The best braces mouth guards are:

  • Resistant to tears
  • Comfortable in the mouth
  • Simple to clean
  • Made out of silicon (to allow easier movement of the braces under the mouth guard)

While non-fitted mouth guards do offer quality protection for your child's braces, fitted mouth guards will be more comfortable. They are also designed to specifically protect your child's teeth and braces, which creates greater stability and protective care. That's why it's best to have your orthodontist just fit your child with a new mouth guard.

Take Care Of Your Mouth Guard

If you have invested a couple hundred dollars in a custom-fit braces mouth guard, you're going to want it to last as long as possible. Follow these simple care tips to help ensure it lasts several athletic seasons:

  • Take it out whenever they're sitting on the bench to avoid grinding or biting
  • Remove it as soon as the game is over and brush with cool water, not toothpaste
  • Store it in a ventilated plastic case and out of direct sunlight
  • Inspect it for nicks, scratches, and bites at least once a week
  • Take it to the orthodontist with each appointment and have them fix any surface damage

Now that you understand athletic mouth guards and how they protect braces, you need to sit down and talk to your child about getting one. Although they may not like it, it's important to let them know how important mouth guards are in protecting their braces and their oral health.

For more information, check out websites like http://www.reedorthodonticsnaples.com and talk to your local orthodontist.