When your child is in the middle of a game, you want to focus all your attention on cheering for them as loud as possible. It can be hard to do that if you spend the whole time worrying about whether their teeth are protected. That’s why a mouthguard is so important if your child plays sports. What’s even more important is that it fits them well. There are plenty of mouthguards you can buy at the store, but you should really have your dentist make one that’s customized to fit your child. Here’s why.
What’s the Difference Between Self-Fitting and Custom Fit?
If you’ve never actually seen a mouthguard that’s been custom-fit, you may not really understand why it’s that much better than what you can get at the supermarket. Having a mouthpiece made by your dentist allows them to ensure that your child’s precise needs are being met. Otherwise, your child may make an error during the self-fitting process that may cause their protective gear not to cover everything it needs to. Because most of-the-shelf mouthpieces are one-size-fits-all, they also tend to have excess material that can irritate the gums. Your dentist can painstakingly craft your mouthguard to make sure it fits you comfortably.
Why Is the Mouthpiece’s Fit So Important?
Having a better-fitting mouthguard offers two big benefits: comfort and safety.
Mouthguards that don’t fit well can prevent the tongue from properly touching the teeth. In addition to being uncomfortable, this can severely inhibit your child’s ability to speak naturally. If your child has a strong gag reflex, it may also make it difficult to wear the guard at all. Similarly, excess material could create sore spots along the gum line.
More important, however, is that a mouthguard that fits well is safer. To protect your child properly, it needs to cover all the teeth and be thick enough to cushion the jaw. If a mouthguard is too thin, insecure, or doesn’t cover all of the teeth, it could fail when it’s needed most.
Everyone wants their child to focus all their energy on the game and not have to think about injury. By having a dentist make them a custom mouthguard, you can free them—and yourself—from worrying.
About the Author
Dr. Saba Abernethy is a dentist that won’t settle for “good enough.” She’ll make use of her exceptional knowledge in her field to help your child protect their smile. On top of that, her chairside manner puts even her most apprehensive patients at ease. Dr. Abernethy is a graduate of the Boston University School of Dental Medicine, and she completed her residency at the VA in Maine. She’s been recognized as a Fellow by the Academy of General Dentistry, a title earned by only 6% of all dentists across the U.S. If you have any questions about mouthguards, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (401) 333-2700.