It’s safe to say that it is every parent’s nightmare to get a call that your son or daughter has been injured while playing at school.

The good news is that many types of accidents can be prevented or minimized if the proper equipment is worn during sports and other physical activities. Protecting your child’s teeth is not an exception.

Also known as a mouth guard, a sports guard is an appliance that is used to protect your teeth from blows to the face, most commonly received while playing sports.

There are three main types of sports guards:

  1. Stock – This type of sports guard is very popular, as it comes pre-formed from the store, and is ready to wear immediately upon purchase. It is worth noting that they are usually less expensive than the other kinds of guards, but remember that you get what you pay for. The downside is that they can be bulky and uncomfortable, sometimes make breathing or speaking difficult, and have to be replaced often because they wear out rather quickly.
  2. Boil and Bite – These are pre-formed mouth guards with a lining that can be softened by boiling and then placed into the mouth to create a form based on your teeth. They tend to fit slightly better than the stock guards, but with that being said they are still fairly bulky, and must be replaced quite frequently as well.
  3. Custom – Custom mouthguards are designed specifically to fit your exact teeth, and are known for their superior comfort. You can be fitted for a custom mouth guard by making an appointment with your family dentist. These types of guards are much longer lasting than the custom or boil and bite variety, but it is still recommended that they be replaced annually in order to retain maximum effectiveness.

Sports that may require a sports guard are as follows:

  • Acrobatics
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Equestrian Events
  • Raquetball
  • Rugby
  • Extreme Sports
  • Skateboarding
  • Wrestling
  • Martial Arts
  • Lacrosse
  • Squash
  • Skiing
  • Skydiving
  • Ice Hockey
  • Field Hockey
  • Handball
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Football
  • Inline Skating

Read More about Sports guards here:

What are Occlusal Appliances?