Athletic activities allow children to develop good physical fitness and cultivate valuable teamwork skills. But they may also subject your young person to risk of injury, unless you have custom sportsguards in Superior in your corner. While over-the-counter versions of these products are available, recent research indicates that custom-made sportsguards are both more comfortable and more effective.
Custom Versus Over-the-Counter: Five Key Differences
Here’s why a custom-made mouthguard in Superior is better than an over-the-counter version:
- Comfort: everyone’s oral profile is unique. A product that fits one person perfectly may be perfectly inappropriate for another. Having your dentist design the mouthpiece ensures that the final product will fit with hand-in-glove comfort.
- Quality: custom mouthguards ordered from a dental professional tend to be better constructed than over-the-counter products mass-produced at a distant factory. This means the appliance is far more likely to stand up to the kind of rough and tumble use involved with sporting activities.
- Effectiveness: research conducted by medical professionals indicates that custom-made mouthguards help to protect young athletes from concussive head trauma. The product absorbs impact forces that would otherwise go directly into the child’s body.
- Customization: a mouthpiece designed by a dental professional can be custom-made with specific colors, words, or other designs, such as the team name. Not only does this make using the product more enjoyable, it also means your child is more likely to wear it as needed.
- Peace of mind: all parents worry about their children from time to time. This is certainly the case when they’re engaged in athletic activities. Knowing that you’ve outfitted your child with the best possible product gives you reason to relax and feel good about your decision.
How Creating a Custom-Made Mouthguard Works
The first step in creating a custom-made mouthguard for your child is to make an appointment with your local dentist. He or she will have your child bite down on to a tray filled with a flexible, non-toxic material. This will create an impression that will be used by the lab that creates the actual mouthguard. Once the product arrives, your child can start using it immediately.
Most mouthguards are created for the upper jaw only. However, if your child wears braces on the lower jaw, then your dentist may design a product to fit it as well.
Caring for a Custom-Made Mouthguard
Mouthguards do require a modest amount of care. Important steps include:
- Rinsing the product in clear water before and after each use.
- Cleaning the product daily with a soft bristle toothbrush and liquid soap.
- Keeping the product in its included carrying case when not in use.
- Protecting the product from heat sources, including direct sunlight.
- Bringing the product to your child’s dental appointments to allow your dentist to examine it.
A custom-made mouthguard is an important precaution for many sports-related activities. The time and effort you put forth will more than pay for themselves with added assurance for you and greater safety for your young athlete.
About the Author
Dr. Doug Clark Jr. has been practicing dentistry for more than three decades. He’s a proud member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (715) 392-5161.