Mouthguards - Specializing in pediatric dentistry located in Tampa, Florida 33626 - (813) 576-0200



Spring is coming which means spring sports–and mouthguards! Protect your child’s teeth by ensuring they are protected with a custom mouthguard.

Li’l Sunshine Smiles works with you to determine which kind of mouthguard will work best for your child.  The key to mouthguard effectiveness is the fit.  Because fit is so important, our staff takes the time to ensure the mouthguard fits like it should to protect fully.  Furthermore, instructions on when and how to effectively use mouthguards are an essential part of the treatment. Dr. Botero makes sure that both you and your child feel comfortable with this new device before you leave the office. 

Mouthguards protect your child’s teeth from chips and breaks while also safeguarding their lips, face, tongue, and jaw from dangerous injuries.  As a matter of fact, most athletic programs will require the use of a mouthguard before a child is allowed to play.   If your child doesn’t yet understand the necessity of mouthguards let Dr. Botero help.  By offering your child the education they need for correct mouthguard use we help you keep them better protected.

The ADA Supports the Use of Mouthguards

Research from the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) states that 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. Furthermore, the majority of the injuries reported occurred because mouthguards were NOT being used.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports that dental injuries are the most common type of mouth injury that happen during sports participation. According to their research, an athlete is 60 times more likely to have an oral injury when NOT wearing a protective mouthguard. 

Above all, don’t let these oral injuries result in permanent damage.  Using a mouthguard makes all the difference.

Proper Fit – The Key to Protection

Learning how to wear a mouthguard isn’t very complex.  However, there are some definite do’s and don’ts.  DO make sure that your mouthguard fit is accurate. Li’l Sunshine Smiles will ensure that your child’s mouthguard offers the perfect fit for their individual bite and smile.   Certainly, a proper fit is essential to ensure that teeth are properly protected during activity.

Custom-Made Mouthguards vs. Store-Bought Options

The best mouthguards are durable, easy to clean, and resistant to tears.  In addition, they should not limit your speech or breathing abilities.

Patient-specific (custom) mouthguards meet these criteria in ways store-bought options just can’t.

Custom-made mouthguards are less bulky, more comfortable and stay in place better during collision activities. Custom-made mouthguards also provide optimal oxygen flow. (This is a common complaint of store-bought, stock-mouth and/or boil and bite mouthguards.  Athletes find it difficult to breathe with them and dislike the bulk).  And, the more oxygen your young athlete can provide her system the better her performance. 

Custom-made mouthguards can also serve a dual purpose for patients that wear braces giving them the protection they need.

Mouthguard Do’s and Don’ts 

For most patients, you will only wear a mouthguard for your upper teeth. But this is different if you wear braces.  There are also exceptions if your sport involves more risk. In these cases,  mouthguards for both upper and lower teeth may be necessary.  During your consultation with Dr. Botero, she can determine what will work best for  your child.  The instructions for mouthguard use are simple:

  1. Recognize fit changes. Overtime, damage to your mouthguard, or growth changes can impact the fit of your mouthguard. To ensure you are protected, remember that mouthguards shouldn’t require biting or clenching to stay in place.  Also, they should fit snugly and not dislodge with impact.  Your mouthguard should not be able to float around in your mouth or come loose. You should be able to remove it by pulling with your fingers. But other than that, it should not move around.
  2. Don’t chew on them when you wear them. This breaks down their effectiveness and longevity.
  3. Don’t cut or alter them. Custom-made mouthguards are fabricated for your exact mouth structures. Remember,  they should not be altered. Altering your mouthguard reduces the effectiveness of the mouthguard impact zones.
  4. Store it in a cool/dry place. Heat will warp your mouthguard and destroy the fit of it.
  5. Wear it! In order for mouthguards to do their job, you have to wear them during activities! If the fit is not comfortable, consult with Dr. Botero so we can improve your design.  Most importantly, we want you wearing your mouthguard.  And, if you are neglecting to use it because it is uncomfortable, let us know!

Call for a Mouthguard Consultation Today

Protect your child’s long-term dental health and development. That is to say, by shield their teeth with a custom mouthguard.  Enjoy greater peace of mind by knowing that your child’s mouth is equipped for safety when playing sports.  Schedule your free consultation or visit today by calling our office at 813-576-0200.