Custom mouth guards offer maximum protection and comfort for student athletes

UofL School of Dentistry pediatric dental office can make custom mouth guards for student athletes.

The UofL School of Dentistry pediatric dental office encourages parents to consider sports mouth guards as children prepare for back-to-school sports and other recreational activities:

The importance of sport mouth guards:

  • protects the mouth by serving as a cushion from blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth
  • protects against injuries to the lips, tongue, lower jaw and the joint
  • may protect athletes against concussions and may enhance an athletes’ performance

"All properly fitted mouth guards provide some varying degree of protection but a custom fitted mouth guard professionally made in the dental office can be tailored to the demands of the athlete and the particular sport they are playing, " said Dr. Ann Greenwell, director, pediatric dental residency.

Types of mouth guards:

  • Ready-made, or stock mouth guard
  • Mouth formed or “boil and bite” mouth guard
  • Custom made mouth guard made by a dentist

The most effective mouth guards should:

  • be resilient
  • be tear resistant
  • be comfortable
  • fit properly
  • be durable and easy to clean
  • not restrict your speech or breathing

Which sport teams need mouth guards:

Any athlete can benefit from mouth guards, but there are some sports that require mouth guards:

  • Football
  • Boxing
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Women’s field hockey
  • Basketball
  • Mouth guards help protect teeth even in non-contact sports, such as gymnastics. Many experts recommend that a mouth guard be worn for any recreational activity that poses a risk of injury to the mouth.

At what age should you wear sport mouth guards:

  • It’s not the particular age that is important, but a child should start wearing a mouth guard when they are participating in any recreational activity that could possible cause injury to their teeth or face.
  • It may be more economically beneficial for a child in the mixed dentition to wear ready-made mouth guards or boil and bite mouth guards until their permanent premolars have completely erupted, which is around 11-12 yrs of age.

How should mouth guards be worn, cleaned and stored:

  • Mouth guards should only be worn when playing any recreational activity that could cause injury to the face.

  • Mouth guards should fit teeth securely and be taken out as soon as the activity is over.
  • It is very important to clean them properly with warm water and a toothbrush after every use, and to store them in a container in a room temperature environment, out of site of young children and animals.

To schedule an appointment at the UofL pediatric dental office, call 502-852- 5642.