To avoid injuries to your mouth while you're playing sports, talk to us about getting an athletic mouthguard made just for you.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a flexible appliance that is worn during athletic and recreational activities to prevent injuries to your mouth and face, such as split lips, broken teeth, and jaw fractures.
When should I wear a mouthguard?
It is advisable to wear a mouthguard anytime there is a strong chance of your head making contact with the other participants or hard surfaces. Mouthguards should be worn when participating in activities such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, hockey, martial arts, and skateboarding.
What are the different types of mouthguards?
- Stock mouthguards: The least expensive option is a ready-made stock item, which offers the least protection since little can be done to adjust its fit. This type of mouthguard- which is available over the counter- requires the user to close his or her jaw to hold it in place. As a result, it may interfere with speech and breathing. It may also lead to soreness of the jaw muscles. A stock mouthguard is not considered an acceptable device for facial protection.
- Mouth-formed mouthguards:There are two types, both of which are available over-the-counter. The first is a shell-liner mouthguard, which when placed in an athlete's mouth, the lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set. The second type is the boil-and-bite mouthguard, which is softened in hot water, placed in the mouth, and shaped around the teeth using a finger or tongue. These types of mouthguards can provide some degree of protection but are often bulky and have a loose fit.
- Custom-made mouthguards: When it comes to injury prevention, a custom made mouthguard is the best option. This is made by a dentist and offers the best protection, fit, and comfort level.
How should I care for my mouthguard?
To keep your mouthguard in good condition, follow these steps:
- After each use, brush your mouthguard with your toothbrush and cool water.
- Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic storage box when you are not using it.
- Don't leave your mouthguard in direct sunlight or in a hot car; heat can melt teh device, altering the way it fits in your mouth -- resulting in less protection.
- Bring your mouthguard with you when you visit the dentist for a thorough cleaning. We can also check its structure and fit.