Your dentist can help you select the most appropriate mouthguard for your child. Mouthguards can be worn on the upper teeth, lower teeth, or both. Mouthguards vary in price, style, and comfort. Certain types of mouthguards may be more appropriate for certain types of sports. There are three basic types of mouthguards: pre-molded mouthguards, hot water formed mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards.
Pre-molded mouthguards can be found in sporting goods stores. They are the least expensive type of mouthguard. Because they are pre-molded, it may be difficult to achieve a good fit. Pre-molded mouthguards do not fit against the teeth. They may be difficult to breathe and talk with.
Hot water formed mouthguards can be found in sporting good stores as well. This type of mouthguard is pre-shaped. You place the shape in hot water to soften the material. When the softened material is placed in your child’s mouth, it conforms to fit against your child’s teeth.
Your dentist can make a custom-made mouthguard. Custom-made mouthguards are professionally fitted to your child’s mouth and teeth. They offer the best protection and most comfortable wear. They should not inhibit your child’s ability to breathe and speak.
Professionally made mouthguards can last a long time with proper care. Your child should clean his or her mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste or mouth rinse. Your child should run his or her mouthguard under cool water before and after he or she uses it. The mouthguard should be kept away from hot temperatures that can disfigure it. A mouthguard needs to be replaced if it tears, breaks, or wears out. A child’s mouthguard should be checked at regular dental visits. Your child may need a new mouthguard as he or she grows.