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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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Sports and Protective Gear

Types of Mouth Guards
There are 3 basic types of mouth guards:

These pre-formed, over-the-counter, ready-to-wear mouth guards are generally the least comfortable and, therefore, the least likely to be worn. Because of poor fit, they also offer the least protection and require constant biting down to stay in place.
Mouth-formed or “boil-and-bite"
Made of thermoplastic material that conforms to the shape of the teeth after being placed in hot water, these mouth guards are commercially available and the most common type used by athletes. They vary in fit, comfort, and protection.
Custom fit
This type of mouth guard must be made by a dentist for the individual. It is the most expensive, but also offers the most protection and comfort. Custom mouth guards are preferred by dentists and usually preferred by athletes because of their increased comfort, wear-ability, and retention, as well as ease of speaking when worn. This type of mouth guard is particularly important for adolescents with orthodontic appliances.

Recommendations for Mouth Guards
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends properly fitted mouth guards for all children participating in organized and unorganized contact and collision sports.

The AAPD supports mandates for use of athletic mouthguards in any sporting activity containing a risk of orofacial injury.

Fast Facts
Mouth guards are divided into 3 basic types: stock, boil and bite, and custom fit.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends proper-fitting mouth guards for all children participating in sports.
Athletes should wear all protective gear for both practices and games, as children are more commonly injured in practice.

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