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Duke Oral Health

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DSPD Safety Protocol

Mouth Protectors


What are athletic mouth guards?

Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic.  We will take an impression of your child’s teeth and design a guard that will fit tightly and comfortably to your child’s upper teeth.


Why are mouth guards important?

Mouth guards are top priority when participating in any sport.  They protect not just the teeth but also the lips, cheeks, and tongue.  They help protect children from such head neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures.  Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes.  Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.


When should you wear a mouth guard?

Our practice recommends that your child wear a mouth guard whenever you are in an activity where there is a risk of falls or head contact with other players or equipment.  This includes baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, rollerblading, lacrosse, field hockey, and even gymnastics.  Normally people would think that football and hockey are the sports that would propose the most danger to teeth, but in reality nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.


How do I choose a mouth guard?

Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard!  Choose one that is comfortable to wear for an extend length of time.  If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech, it will be left in the bedroom or locker room to collect dust.  You can buy mouth guards in sports stores that are preformed or boiled to fit.  Different types and brands vary in terms of comfort, protection, and cost.  Our office can make a customized mouth guard as well.  This type of guard cost a little bit more, but is the most comfortable and provides the best protection against injuries.  If there is ever a need for sports mouth guards ask us and we will advise the best type for you.