Much like we mentioned in our piece on general night guards for teens, sportsguards are customizable. That’s handy for what these kind of mouth guards are for, since running and pivoting during sports would make an improper fit very uncomfortable.
You can certainly purchase stock sportsguards in a pinch, though.
The main difference between sportsguards and nite guards
Each type of mouth guard is specialized for protecting your child’s teeth against different types of damage.
Nite guards prevent damage from grinding the teeth and are built to withstand pressure. Sportsguards are meant for impact, such as an elbow or a ball hitting the mouth. In the latter case, the general concept is to disperse the force of impact over a wider area, lessening the damage created to the teeth and gums beneath.
Types of sports mouth guards available:
Ready made styles of mouth guards are a one size fits all approach. The advantage is that they are widely available and affordable, but may not fit well depending on the shape of your child’s mouth and teeth. An improper fit reduces protection.
Custom fit mouth guards swing entirely the other direction, where a mold is taken of your child’s mouth at a pediatric dental office for a perfect fit. The mouth guard is specially made for your child’s mouth, conforming snugly against the teeth and providing ideal protection. This approach carries a lot of advantages, with the main consideration being that they are more expensive than ready made varieties.
Mouth-adapted mouth guards are a way to combine advantages of both of the above options. They are premade and not customized to your child’s mouth, which makes them more affordable. However, they are made of a material that can slowly adapt to the shape of your child’s teeth, allowing them a better fit than cheaper pre-made options. This offers better protection — though not quite as good as custom fit — and more affordability.
Choosing mouth guards made with safe materials
To obtain a CE certification, a mouth guard must be tested to ensure it both actually withstands impact and is also made of materials that are safe for a child’s mouth.
- Testing the degree to which the mouth guard can disperse impact across a wider area and reduce damage. Some mouth guard designs do this better than others, and it’s always a good start to check the rating given to mouth guards as you make your choice.
- Testing the materials to ensure they are BPA-free, don’t contain formamide, and also doesn’t include Pthalate. Additionally, any other materials that are deemed unsafe must not be able to flake off in the mouth through contact with teeth, the tongue, and saliva.
If you’d like to explore getting your child a custom fit mouth guard, contact our office today!