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Mouthguards

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KEY POINTS

  • A mouthguard is a device your child can wear in the mouth to protect the teeth when your child plays sports. You can buy mouthguards at sporting goods stores or have one custom-made by a dentist.
  • Your child should always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and rugby. Mouthguards are also recommended for other sports such as basketball.

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What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a device your child can wear in the mouth to protect the teeth when your child plays sports. A mouthguard can also act as a shock absorber if your child’s head is hit.

You can buy mouthguards at sporting goods stores or have one custom-made by a dentist that is properly fitted and up to 2 times thicker than over-the-counter mouthguards.

Are there different types of mouthguards?

The most common type of mouthguard fits around the top teeth. The bottom teeth are protected when the mouthguard overlaps them. Some mouthguards fit over both top and bottom teeth.

Mouthguards come in several sizes. Many mouthguards can be custom fitted. For example, some can be fitted for your child’s mouth by boiling them and then having your child bite into them. Others are fitted by pouring a gel into the guard and then biting into the gel. A mouthguard may also be custom-made by your child’s dentist.

When should my child wear a mouthguard?

Your child should always wear a mouthguard when your child plays in contact sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and rugby. Mouthguards are also recommended for other sports such as basketball.

Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2019.4 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2019-07-22
Last reviewed: 2017-03-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2018 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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