When you have a child who plays sports, he or she may experience injuries such as impacts to the face. Getting hit in the face with a ball or another piece of sports equipment could cause a serious injury to the mouth, soft tissues, jaws or teeth. Coming into direct content with another person, such as a tackle when playing football, could also cause an injury to the mouth and teeth. At Prairie Hawk Dental, we help protect your child's teeth with customized mouths guards.
What Mouth Guards Are Made of
Mouth guards may be made of a heat-activated polymer or resin. Some of them are made out of rubber or a combination of these materials. When you get your child's mouthguard at Prairie Hawk Dental, we do a customized fit in order to ensure that the mouth guard properly protects your child's mouth and that it will feel comfortable when your child wears it. On your first visit for the mouth guard, we take an impression of your child's mouth. To do this, we put a waxy or gel-like material into a tray. We position the tray in your child's mouth. You child's teeth push into the form, creating a mold for the dental lab to use when building the custom mouth guard.
Who Should Wear a Mouth Guard
Your child's school or sports league might require a mouth guard for sports such as baseball, softball, hockey, soccer, football, wrestling or martial arts. If your child participates in extracurricular activities such as ice hockey, figure skating or rugby, those sports may also require the use of a mouth guard. There are also mouth guards or splints for wearing at night. If your child has temporomandibular joint disorder, tight jaw muscles or bruxism, we may recommend the use of a nighttime splint or guard to be worn while your child sleeps.
How to Care for a Mouth Guard
It is important to properly care for the mouth guard when your child is not using it. After your child plays a game with the mouth guard or sleeps with it in, the device should be rinsed and gently brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Allow the mouth guard to air dry for several hours. When traveling, keep the mouth guard in the case that it came in. The case protects the mouth guard from impacts or dirt. When you bring your child in for teeth cleaning or checkup, bring the mouth guard with you. Our staff will clean the mouth guard. We will check to make sure that it still fits correctly. If your child is getting adult teeth, the fit of the mouth guard could change over time.