Sports guards, mouth guards and mouth protectors are different names for the same dental appliance that serves one purpose and that is, to protect your mouth and teeth from trauma. This is especially true in sports, as mouthguards should be worn by anyone participating in any sport that involves body contact in any form and flying equipment. Examples of such sports would be basketball, football, baseball, hockey and a bunch of many others.
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, for one, is one of the most prone when it comes to contact sports. The front teeth, tongue, and cheek, in particular, all are the most susceptible to damage. Although, wearing a mouthguard can’t prevent all types of injuries, it can prevent some and mitigate the damage of many others.
Basic Total Protection For Your Teeth
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.
The Different Types
Before getting to know the different types of mouth guards, it’s important that you keep in mind that you should make sure that you’re wearing one that’s comfortable, resilient and resistant to tear, regardless of type.
The three types of mouth guards are as follows:
- Custom-made mouth guards – These are custom-made and designed for a specific individual. These are made 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 mouth guards – 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. The fit is 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.
- Stock mouth guards – These are very cheap and can be worn immediately after purchase. However, the fit is often awkward and comfortable and may make it hard to breath and talk.
Maintenance and Replacement
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.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
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 feel that your or your child would benefit from a custom-made mouthguard, contact Kemmet Dental Design at 701-852-4789 or visit www.kemmetdental.com for additional information.