Mouth guards can play a significant role in protecting your child’s teeth. If your child regularly takes part in contact sports or activities with a risk of tooth injury, a mouth guard will help keep them safe as they play.
Guards can be either custom made or store bought, and the two options have different pros and cons. If you think your child would benefit from a mouth guard, ask Dr. Hester what he recommends at their next appointment.
Most athletic organizations require the use of mouth guards for proper protection. Because force to the jaw can be transmitted to the brain, wearing a mouth guard helps reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury. Sports guards also protect both the teeth and the soft tissues in the mouth. Overall, a sports guard helps your child have fun without experiencing an injury.
There are a few types of sports guards to consider for your child:
Nighttime teeth grinding is common for children, and can go undiagnosed because it happens without the child realizing they’re clenching and grinding. If grinding continues over time, the teeth can become sensitive, worn down, or may chip. Your child may also experience a tight, sore jaw or chronic headaches.
Night guards are less commonly recommended for children than they are for adults. The only cases in which a night guard may be appropriate are if there is a risk of damage to permanent teeth or other lasting problems. Because a child’s mouth is growing, it’s difficult to fit a guard without needing to remake it frequently. Many children who experience bruxism while young do grow out of it, so there is potential for the condition to fade.
If you think your child may be grinding their teeth, get in touch and Dr. Hester will evaluate their teeth and tell you more about potential causes.