Mouthguards are u-shaped sections of plastic that are fitted to your mouth to protect your upper and lower teeth. They are usually made of nontoxic, nonallergenic components. The major concerns when choosing a sporting mouthguard are how well it fits and how well it protects your teeth. Wearing sporting mouthguards can help you avoid dental and jaw damage during sporting activities. Using a mouthguard is very important in almost all outdoor games, skipping the mouthguard can cause serious injuries which can be very severe for your health and physical appearance as well. Even though some sports, such as football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and boxing, require the use of mouthguards, dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard in any sport that may cause dental injury. One thing dental injury can lead to is a misalignment of teeth (malocclusion), which can be avoided by wearing a mouthguard.
Sporting Dental Injuries
Common dental injuries incurred during sport or leisure activities include:
- Cut lips
- Cut gums
- Cut cheeks
- Cuts to the tongue or face
- Chipped teeth
- Broken teeth
- Knocked out teeth
- Broken jaw
Different Types of sporting Mouthguards
There are countless sporting mouthguards to pick from that originate in numerous representations and qualities. No matter what kind of mouth protector you select, it should be strong and tear-resistant. It should also fit correctly and not confine your communication or inhalation.
The four types of mouthguards are:
- Custom-made mouthguards — These are independently considered and molded in your dentist’s workplace or a specialized dental test site. Not unexpectedly, they deliver the best fit and quality. Your dentist brands an imprint of your teeth and then custom makes a mouthguard from that mold. Since they fit and feel the best, most athletes prefer tailored sporting mouthguards. However, these custom made mouthguards are also the most expensive.
- Boil and bite mouthguards — These are available in a pre-formed shape that can be transformed by boiling the mouth guard in water then biting into the warm plastic for a customized fit. They can be purchased at many sporting goods stores and may bargain a healthier fit than stock mouth protections. Carefully read the instructions to prevent winding up with a poor-fitting mouth guard.
- Stock mouthguards — These are inexpensive and come pre-formed and ready to wear. As a result, they usually don’t fit very well. They are often too large and may make breathing and speaking problematic.
- Orthodontic treatment mouthguards (for braces and other appliances) are baggy and protect the mouth from appliance-related damage during sports and other activities.
How Long Should MouthGuards Last?
Mouthguards wear down over time, making them less functional. For this reason, you should replace important for adolescents because their mouths are growing and shifting. Many athletes who play numerous sports have new mouth protectors made at each six-month dental checkup.
If you have questions when choosing a mouthguard, or concerns about safety while playing sports, let our staff ease your mind!