Summer is in full swing, the Fair is over, school shopping begins and the fall sports season is ready to kick off.  Kids will be playing football, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, etc.  They will be outfitted with new uniforms, shoes, gloves and pads, but what about athletic mouth-guards?

Anytime there is a risk of being hit in the face, mouth or jaw, a mouth-guard is recommended.  The most common injuries sustained during participation sports are those of an orofacial nature.  A mouth-guard is essential in protecting against fractured teeth, tooth loss, jaw fracture and concussion.  They act like bumpers or airbags on a car.  They help disperse direct impact over the whole mouth-guard, thus diminishing the blow.  They have been proven to effectively reduce the risk of injury.

There are many types of mouth-guards available.  The least expensive type is the generic “one size fits all model.” Of course they are better than nothing and inexpensive, but because they are loose fitting, their function is diminished.  Next is the “boil and bite” type. These usually cost $20-50.  They tend to fit better but still may be bulky, hinder breathing and become loose during activity thus reducing their efficiency. The last type is the custom fit mouth-guard made by your dentist.  They may range in cost from $150-300.  These are snug fitting, steam-lined and comfortable and have been shown to significantly reduce trauma from an impact blow. Even though these are more expensive, if they can help prevent someone from fracturing a tooth, breaking a jaw or getting a concussion the benefits certainly outweigh the cost.

Mouth-guards may not be the coolest part of the uniform, but they are one of the most important.  The King, LeBron James, was quoted as saying, “If I didn’t have a good mouth-guard I’d have a tough time having a good dinner tonight, so God bless my mouth-guard.”

If you have any questions or are interested in a custom fit mouth-guard please contact our office.

Enjoy the fall and watching your kids play sports.