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How Important Are Mouth Guards for Teenage Athletes?

October 20, 2016

How Important Are Mouth Guards for Teenage Athletes?

If there’s a teen athlete in your home then you’re familiar with hanging out in the stands, cheering for them – and you also know that there’s nothing worse than seeing them get injured. As fun as sports are, they can also cause injuries. While it’s true that a dentist can’t prevent a twisted ankle, at California Dental Group, we’re here to provide some advice that could protect your athlete’s beautiful smile.

Impact sports come with risks

There are a lot of advantages to sports, but they also come with risks. Falling, being tackled, being hit in the fact with a ball can severely damage your athlete’s teeth and those injuries can be severe if they’re not protected. While it’s true that we can always help after the fact with a variety of cosmetic dentistry options, the best option is of course to prevent it and mouth guards can be the best way to do that.

In fact, the American Dental Association analyzed a number of studies that found that student athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are almost twice as likely to suffer from dental injuries than those who do wear mouth guards.

How to care for your mouth guard

You can pick up a mouth guard at most sports stores. Just be sure that you’re replacing it as frequently as it needs to be. Generally speaking, adults don’t need to replace their guards until or unless they show signs of wear. However, if you’re buying a mouth guard for a child whose teeth are still developing, then it’s essential to replace it at least yearly so that it still fits correctly.

The American Dental Association also recommends the following tips to properly care for a mouth guard:

  • Rinse and clean the mouth guard every time you use it. This can be done with a dedicated toothbrush.
  • Clean the mouth guard with cool, soapy water every few weeks.
  • Store and transport the mouth guard in a container that includes vents.
  • Don’t leave the mouth guard in hot water or in the sun. In fact, keep it out of hot locations when possible.
  • Don’t wear any type of removable dental appliance (like a retainer) when you’re wearing a mouth guard.
  • Don’t cut pieces off or chew on the mouth guard.
  • Bring your mouth guard to California Dental Group when you visit us for your dental exam.
  • Don’t just wear the mouth guard during games – wear it during practices too.

Do you have additional questions about getting a mouth guard? Contact California Dental Group today at (800) 407-0161/ We are passionate about oral health and want the entire family to have a happy and healthy smile. Mouth guards are one of the best preventative oral health options for athletes, especially teens and children who have smiles that are still forming.

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