Protect your teeth from a heavy hit!
Most children and adolescents are involved in some form of sports during their school years. Many of these sports require significant body contact. Among the most common injuries are those involving the head and neck, and especially the teeth. Many of the injuries can be prevented by wearing a properly fitted night guard. There is a tendency to purchase inexpensive night guards for sports thinking that these devices offer the necessary protection, but often they do not. 80% of night guards for sports are ineffective.
Types of Athletic Night Guards:
- Stock Night Guards are store bought and available in small, medium and large sizes. They do not fit around the jaws or teeth well.
They are generically shaped and only form a rough fit around the teeth. The result is that when the athlete receives a blow, the night guard is forced back hitting only one or couple of teeth and often breaking them. Additionally, the athlete has to hold the guard by biting it into place. They eventually wear through and need replacement. They are the least retentive, least expensive and bulky. Dental and medical experts recommend that these types of night guards should not be used.
- Boil and Bite Night Guards are used by 90% of guard wearers. They are softened and molded to fit using the tongue and fingers. They form a poor fit, are bulky, limited in sizes, they cannot be customized well, thickness is not predictable and therefore generally ineffective.
- Conventional Vacuum Night Guard Provided in a dental office is only a slight step better than the store bought versions. This is fabricated using a vacuum pulling a soft material over the model of teeth and does provide somewhat of a customized fit although not precise fitting. These night guards too are inadequate for mouth protection.
- Conventional Pressure Night Guard The pressure device used to fabricate these night guards allows for a precise fit of the guard material to the model and facilitates a much better protection of teeth. These guards are fabricated in the dental office or at the lab by a dental technician.
Cost of fixing dental injuries is more expensive than the cost associated with the fabrication of a well designed night guard. Expect to pay more for a customized pressure athletic night guard, but enjoy the comfort that your athlete will enjoy far better protection of their teeth and jaws avoiding major injuries and a major expense.
The first two night guards for sports are store bought and the latter two athletic night guards are provided by the dentist.