Q. My children play sports that put their teeth at risk. Is a mouth guard the right solution?
A. One of the worst scenarios for any parent, as well as anyone who is involved in contact-heavy sports, is what they would do in the event that their tooth was knocked out. A lot of sports require the participants to wear mouth guards – from boxing, mixed and martial arts to rugby and football to name but a few.
There are different types of mouth guards that you can buy which will provide different levels of protection. Talk to your dentist and discuss the benefits of the options available. A custom-made mouth guard is probably the best choice available and will be uniquely designed by your dentist.
First, impressions of your teeth will be made and – using special material – the mouth guard will be moulded over the model. They’re a bit more expensive but provide better comfort and more importantly, protection. Cheaper, ready-made mouth guards are widely available in numerous sports shops and come in various sizes but don’t really allow for any adjustment for the person who will be wearing it.
The other option is a ‘boil & bite’ mouth guard, which is made out of thermoplastic and placed in hot water to enable it to soften and then be moulded around the teeth with pressure. Losing a tooth would mean not being able to smile, talk or even eat comfortably, making many crucial day-to-day functions possibly difficult all of a sudden.
Until your teeth are gone, you might not really consider the implications of losing them.