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Mouthguard – Bethel Park, PA

Protect Your Child’s Smile with a Mouthguard

animation of mouthguard on top teeth

Prevention is vital to protecting young smiles to ensure they last for a lifetime. You may think this only involves your child’s home oral hygiene habits and regular care from their dentist, but there is another tool they can use to protect their teeth and gums from damage. Mouthguards are an essential oral appliance used to protect your child’s teeth. Although you can purchase one over-the-counter, it does not offer the same level of protection as those available at Cartwright Orthodontics. Dr. Cartwright provides custom-made mouth guards to protect your child’s smile.

Types of Mouthguards

Blue mouthguard prior to placement

There are multiple types of mouthguards that are used for different purposes depending on your child’s unique needs:

Bruxism/Tooth Grinding Mouthguards

Grinding or clenching the teeth, known as bruxism, is a condition that is only thought to affect adults, but children and teens can experience it as well. It often goes hand-in-hand with other underlying conditions, such as sleep disorders or a poorly aligned bite. No matter the cause, the friction and strain can damage your child’s teeth. Not to mention, it can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and sores on the inside of the cheeks.

A custom-fit mouthguard acts as a protective barrier between the top and bottom teeth. This can prevent enamel erosion, chips, and fractures to keep their teeth strong and healthy.

Sports Mouthguards

If your child plays sports, a mouthguard is equally important as a helmet if they are going out on the football field. Over 5 million teeth are knocked out every year from sports. Not to mention as much as 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. You can help protect your child with an athletic mouthguard.

It provides protection to your child’s teeth and soft tissues if there is trauma to the face or mouth. As much as 200,000 oral injuries can be prevented each year by wearing a sports mouth guard. Not only does it offer protection for the teeth, lips, tongue, and cheeks, new research suggests it can also reduce the risk of concussion.

Caring for Mouthguards

child with athletic mouthguard

Mouthguards are beneficial to your child’s smile, but they also harbor bacteria, mold, and yeast. This can lead to serious infections. It is important for your child to clean their mouthguard well. Unfortunately, rinsing it with water is not enough. The American Dental Association recommends it is cleaned using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste regularly. Soaking it in an antimicrobial solution can also kill harmful organisms to keep their smile healthy.

When they are not wearing their mouthguard, it is important for it to be stored in a protective case that has adequate ventilation. This allows it to stay dry to prevent bacteria growth while also preventing damage.

Over time, the mouthguard will show the signs of use. It is best to have it replaced to ensure it continues to protect your child’s smile properly.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If your child grinds their teeth or plays sports, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.