Back to school is just around the corner and that always means the rush of back to school shopping. Preparing them to do well in class is vital. And we all know that healthy, active kids tend to perform better academically as well. So while school always needs to be the first priority, making sure your kids participate in sports is also very important.

For many Canadians, both boys and girls, that often means hockey and even football. However, a growing number of kids are also participating in other sports throughout the fall and winter, including basketball and even soccer (thanks to all the domes out there).

One thing all of these sports have in common is physical contact. Even if contact is not actually allowed, it is inevitable that they will bump into each other.  With those bumps can come dental trauma. To protect against such trauma, your children need to be wearing a mouth guard when participating in any of these sports.

Hockey and football both require that children wear a mouth guard at all times. The same cannot be said for soccer or basketball. However, if you watch a lot of professional basketball, you see a lot of the pros wearing mouth guards. If it is good enough for them, we believe it is good enough for your children! Hopefully, we will start to see more soccer players also wearing them in the near future, as soccer players need to protect their teeth too!

One thing to keep in mind is that not just any mouth guard will do. Many parents do not feel it is necessary to invest in a top quality, custom-fitted mouth guard as the feel they are too expensive.

On the financial end of things, you may actually save money with a custom-fitted mouth guard. Because it is fitted to your child’s mouth, s/he will be less likely to chew on it. That means you may not have to replace it multiple times throughout the season. It may cost more up front, but if you can get a full season out of, it may be a less expensive option than you think.

More importantly, a mouth guard that fits your child’s mouth provides better protection. We can provide your child with maximum protection for his/her teeth with a mouth guard designed just for him/her. Simply bring your child in and we can take a mold of his/her mouth and create a mouth guard that takes into consideration how his/her teeth come together. Such a mouth guard provides far more protection than a one-size fits all product from your local sports store.

Then you need to take proper care of it! Simply rinsing it under water after a game is not sufficient to remove the germs and bacteria that accumulate. We recommend brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste after every use. You should also soak it in a bacteria fighting mouthwash. After all, protecting the teeth from bacteria is just as important as protecting them from trauma.

So come talk to us about a custom-fitted mouth guard, because protecting young smiles from sports trauma is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon