When children participate in sports, injuries are to be expected at some point. As a parent, you can ensure they have the appropriate equipment to provide as much protection as possible. One of the most essential pieces of equipment in lacrosse is a mouthpiece or mouthguard as they’re also known.
A mouthpiece fits inside the athlete’s mouth to protect teeth and soft tissues when an impact takes place. It absorbs the force of the impact and distributes it throughout the rest of the mouth. A mouthpiece protects athletes in the event of:
- Direct mouth impact
- Under the chin impact
- Under the jaw impact
- Trauma to the jaw joint (TMJ)
- Fractures to the jaw
Ideally, your child should have a mouthpiece that’s custom-fitted to the specific structure of their mouth. Custom mouthguards can only be obtained from a dentist. A mouthpiece from your dentist will provide optimal protection and be far more comfortable. Expect to pay about 10 times what you would for an over-the-counter mouthpiece.
There are premade mouthpieces that can be purchased, but they won’t provide anywhere near the same level of protection as one from your dentist. They’re often uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. An over-the-counter mouthpiece is the same as those used to stop people from grinding their teeth while they sleep.
An over-the-counter mouthpiece is placed in boiling water to make it pliable and when it’s sufficiently cooled, your child will bite down on it to “form” it to their teeth. A major problem with premade mouthpieces is that they’re prone to breakage.
For a custom-made mouthpiece, your dentist will make an exact mold or impression of your child’s teeth that conforms to every nook and cranny. The protective device will be created in a lab to extremely precise specifications with the highest quality materials. The result is a highly durable mouthpiece that’s comfortable and retains its shape. The good news for parents is that many insurance companies will also cover the cost of a mouthpiece.