You’ve seen them if you’ve ever watched sports. You’ve worn them if you’ve ever played sports. Sports guards, mouthguards and mouth protectors are different names for the same dental appliance that serves one purpose – to protect your mouth and teeth from trauma. This is especially true in sports. Mouthguards should be worn by anyone participating in any sport that involves body contact or flying equipment. If you’re one of those who dismiss the trauma resulting from the physicality of contact sports, you may want to try changing your mindset.
Sports injuries aren’t new and the mouth is one of the most prone when it comes to contact sports. The front teeth, tongue, and cheek are the most susceptible to damage. While wearing a mouthguard can’t prevent all types of injuries, it can prevent some and mitigate the damage of many others.
When knocked out, teeth can still be saved as long as you get to a dentist quickly enough. The same goes for minor chips, cracks and fractures. However, “minor” injuries as they are, their financial costs are anything but minor. If you participate regularly in contact sports and other high-risk activities, it would pay to protect yourself. More so if you’re wearing braces and other fixed dental appliances.
Before getting to know the different types of mouthguards, it’s important that you keep in mind that you should make sure that you’re wearing one that’s comfortable and resistant to tear, regardless of type.
Custom-made mouthguards. These are custom-made and designed for a specific individual, either in the dentist’s office or at a professional dental laboratory. Regardless of where it’s manufactured, custom-made mouth guards are very expensive, but are also known to provide the best fit and protection among mouth guards.
Boil and bite mouthguards. Available at your typical sporting goods store, this type of mouthguard offers a better fit than stock mouthguards. These are also cheaper than custom-made mouth guards. Because the pre-formed shape that the mouth guard comes in can be changed by boiling it in water and biting into it soon after, it gives a much better fit than the stock models.
Stock mouthguards. These are very cheap and can be worn immediately after purchase. However, the fit is often awkward and uncomfortable, making it hard to breath and talk.
Ideally, you’ll want to replace your mouth guards after every few months, especially if you wear and use them regularly. This is especially true for teenagers as their mouth and teeth are still in a state of constant change and growth. It is also important to keep your mouthguard clean. Rinse it with cool water and brush it as you would your natural teeth to eliminate bacteria. Place it in a sealed container at room temperature as well in between uses.
While it is true that dental emergencies can’t always be prevented, investing in a mouthguard can help make sure that you do not end up visiting the dentist more often than necessary for sports-related dental injuries. Play hard and play safe by making sure that your mouth and teeth are well-protected by investing in a well-fitting mouthguard.
If you would like to learn more about mouthguard options, contact Kemmet Dental Design at 701-872-4789 or visit www.kemmetdental.com for additional information.
Kemmet Dental Design proudly serves Minot and all surrounding areas.