An athlete is always exposed to different teeth problems. If you’re an athlete or someone who loves sports, you probably had broken or damaged teeth before. While adults face this problem frequently,  kids are even more exposed to it. One of the best ways to protect teeth from contact sports and damage is through the use of mouth-guards.

Sherwood Dental, your Kitchener dentist, is here to give you advice about the usefulness of mouth-guards. Read on!

Mouth-guards – An Overview

Typical mouth-guards are designed to cover the upper teeth and protect them from breaking due to harsh physical impact. In turn, mouth-guards will also protect your mouth from your teeth so that you won’t have to worry about cracked lips and a wounded tongue. If you’ve had dental restoration or a cosmetic procedure, your dentist will recommend a mouth-guard that also protects lower teeth.

According to the study of the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, athletes who do not use mouth-guards are 60 times more likely to get teeth damage.  Some of the most physically taxing sports are basketball, soccer, American football, hockey (field and ice), and dodge-ball.

The Different Types of Mouth-guards

Nowadays, you can find three different types of mouth-guards. A ready-made mouth-guard is a practical option that will fit the lowest budget. It comes in three standard sizes: small, medium, and large. While you can choose from any of these size types, there’s no way to customize a ready-made mouth-guard.

If you care about customization, you can choose ‘boil and bite’ mouth-guards. These mouth-guards can be customized according to your mouth size. First, you must heat the mouth-guard by boiling it in clean water. Second, you bite on the mouth-guard so it can take the shape of your mouth. Boil and bite mouth-guards may be a little bulky, but the customization factor is a huge plus. These mouth-guards are a bit pricier than ready-made mouth-guards.

The most expensive type of mouth-guard is a custom unit made by a dentist or a professional lab technician. This mouth-guard offers high comfort and protection levels. If you’ve had braces or numerous dental procedures, this is the best mouth-guard choice.

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Mouth-guard

Owning a mouth-guard is not the same as owning an old pair of socks. It requires vigilance, responsibility, and a sense of discipline. Don’t just put your mouth-guard in a shelf and leave it behind. If you do so, the mouth-guard will gain mould, bacteria, and even yeast. These microorganisms will compromise your oral health and make you sick.

You should clean your mouth-guard as often as possible. This will prevent the accumulation of mould and a plethora of unwanted microorganisms. Take note that simple tap water rinse is insufficient. Instead, you must brush your mouth-guard using a toothbrush and toothpaste now and then. For optimum protection, you can rinse the motormouth in soapy water or a special antimicrobial solution. You can always ask your dentist about the best cleaning products that they’d recommend. Don’t just pick any artificial cleaning product out of the blue!

After regular cleaning, you should dry your mouth-guard and store it in a well-ventilated case or shelf. Don’t forget to clean the case because it too will accumulate bacteria.

About Mouth-guard Replacement

When you see signs of wear and tear on the surface of your smooth mouth guard, you should consider buying a new one. A broken mouth-guard is not adequate, and it can cause significant problems down the road. If you have custom mouth-guards, your dentist can apply a deep cleaning method through an ultrasonic machine. The process has the potential to smoothen cracked and worn-out portions of your mouth-guard.

In the field of sporting, over-the-counter mouth-guards are almost always retired at the end of a season. Or if the mouth-guard has shown signs of heavy wear, it is discarded right away.

Cracked sporting mouth-guards are replaced because the cracks can become small places where bacteria often mould and fester. The average soft-bristle toothbrush cannot reach these places.

Final Notes

Using mouth-guards is an excellent step towards protecting your teeth.

If you have any questions please contact us today.