At Smiles LA, we understand that accidents happen, especially with children. For this reason, we specialize in several preventive treatments designed to protect your family’s teeth and gums. If you or your child participate in sports or other physical activities, we may recommend a sports guard!
A sports guard is a plastic covering that protects the teeth from injury and trauma. While there are three types of guards, we almost always recommend a custom-designed appliance. A custom-designed sports guard offers superior comfort, durability, and effectiveness.
Avoiding Injury and Trauma
As professional dentists, we believe we must prevent, or at least help prevent, certain oral health problems like injury and trauma. Thanks to improvements in technology and education, it has never been easier to prevent facial trauma. Wearing a sports guard is one of the best ways to protect your teeth during activities that may result in facial injuries.
Trauma to the mouth can result in soft tissue lacerations, fractured or broken teeth, partially dislodged teeth, or knocked-out teeth. According to the Columbia University of Dental Medicine, roughly 80% of these injuries affect at least one anterior (front) tooth. Moreover, 13% to 39% of these injuries occur during sporting activities.
Types of Sports Guards
Regardless of which type of sports guard you choose, it should provide basic protection for the teeth and gums. In most cases, a sports guard only needs to cover the upper teeth to provide adequate protection. However, we may recommend one for the lower arch as well, especially if these teeth have braces or an existing restoration.
The three types of sports guards are:
How Long Do Sports Guards Last?
Generally speaking, a sports guard should be replaced after each season. The plastic tends to wear down over time, making them less safe and effective after a significant amount of use. Children tend to need more frequent replacements as their teeth and jaws continue to develop, which may affect the fit of their guard. Talk with Dr. Michel H. Elyson, DDS, FICOI to find out about our guard options.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you or a family member needs a sports guard, our team is happy to help! Call 323-263-2125 to schedule an appointment today!