If you or your child participate in sports or other recreational activities that carry a high risk of injury, it's important you wear a mouth guard. For children, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), states that a mouth guard is an essential piece of equipment when taking part in any recreational or sporting activity. Mouth guards cover the upper portion of the teeth to protect them from injury. They move the soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, helping to prevent bruising and cuts on the lip and cheeks, especially for individuals who wear braces.
A variety of mouth guards are available.
Types of mouth guards
- Stock Guards are pre-formed, inexpensive and ready to wear. We do not recommend this kind of protection because they do not fit well, are bulky and can obstruct your breathing and speech.
- Boil and Bite guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and offer a slightly better fit than stock guards. As the name implies, they are softened in boiling water, inserted into the mouth and then molded to your teeth. A boil and bite guard costs more than stock guards, but offer more protection, feel comfortable and allow you to speak and breathe easier.
- Our staff highly recommends Custom-fitted mouth guards. These guards are custom-made and created at our dental lab to the exact specifications of your teeth. At Pacific Dental Group, we encourage patients to wear a custom-fitted guard because they offer the best protection from dental injuries that occur when playing sports.
Night Guards are recommended for patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaw while sleeping. Similar to mouth guards, night guards are custom designed to be more comfortable than the store bought type. Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, is a well-known condition. Over 35 percent of children experience Bruxism at some point during their childhood. Common signs of teeth clenching or grinding are: chronic jaw pain, waking up with a tired or tight feeling in the jaw and frequent tension headaches. If left untreated, Bruxism can cause excessive tooth wear, chipped, flattened or cracked teeth.