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With school right around the corner, it's time for parents to start thinking about the safety of their budding athlete.

If your child plays contact sports or any sport involving a ball or a puck, add a mouthguard to your back to school shopping list.

But sports medicine doctor Vijay Jotwani warns parents against a common myth that mouth guards prevent concussions.

"They don't change any of the movement of the brain that actually leads to the concussion, so they're not helpful in that respect," said Dr. Jotwani.

Mouth guards do offer kids twice the protection against severe facial injuries or broken teeth. There are three types of mouthguards. The cheapest is a stock model that comes in small, medium or large.

"Those are tough to get a great fit with, so not always our best recommendation," Dr. Jotwani said.

A better option - a do-it-yourself "boil and bite" mouthguard.

"You put it in some hot water, and then you're able to mold it to your teeth," Dr. Jotwani explained. "You can get a pretty good fit with that, and that's probably a great choice for most athletes."

Or have a dentist make one for you.

"The custom one's going to cost you the most money and it's probably a good idea if you have some tooth problems, or probably for an adolescent who has braces," said Dr. Jotwani.

The right fit is key.

"It should fit snug on the top teeth, shouldn't fall out as soon as you open your mouth and it should fit comfortably. The plastic shouldn't be digging into the skin or causing any irritation," said Dr. Jotwani.

It's also not a bad idea to get a new mouthguard at the start of each season. If the mouthpiece becomes frayed, worn down or irritates the skin, it's time to toss it out.

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