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Female dentist showing a mouth guard to a sporty young man in a dental chair.

Athletic Mouthguards

Helmets protect the head from injuries in certain sports and have saved lives in many situations. Athletic mouthguards protect the teeth from being knocked out. Wearing an athletic mouthguard can often mean the difference between saving teeth from harm or needing an oral prosthetic. The quality of the mouthguard is important because it affects the degree to which the teeth are protected.

There are several types of athletic mouthguards available. The three most common types include:

  • Stock mouthguards
  • Boil and bite mouthguards
  • Custom-fitted mouthguards

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the pros and cons will help you make a wise decision concerning the protection of your child’s teeth.

Stock mouthguards are preformed and usually come in three sizes: small, medium and large. These mouthguards are inexpensive and readily available at most stores where sporting equipment is sold. The disadvantage of this type of athletic mouthguard is that they are not adjustable to your child’s unique bite. These are often bulky, and for some children, they can make it difficult to breathe while wearing it. Unfortunately, stock mouthguards provide the least amount of protection and are not recommended by dentists.

Boil and bite mouthguards are also available at sporting goods stores. The fit these devices provide is better than stock mouthguards. This type is made from thermoplastic material. You soften the mouthguard in hot water, then place it in the mouth and your child bites down on it. It is shaped around the teeth using pressure from the tongue and the fingers.

The best protection for your child’s teeth is a custom-fitted mouth protector. Unlike the stock mouthguard and the boil and bite type, a custom mouthguard is designed specifically to fit your child’s mouth and teeth.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth Better with A Custom Mouthguard

The fit of the custom mouthguard is unique to your child. These athletic mouthguards are designed for the individual and made in the dental office or at a dental lab with instructions from the dentist. An impression of the teeth is taken and turned into a model. Special material is then molded over the model, creating the mouthguard.

Custom mouthguards are more expensive than over-the-counter options. They also provide more comfort and much better protection. In the long run, a custom athletic mouthguard may save you time and money if it prevents your child’s teeth from being harmed.

If your child plays sports that requires an athletic mouthguard, contact The Pediatric Dental Team and schedule an appointment. Make sure your child has the best protected teeth on the playing field.


2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148



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