We all know that helmets are a crucial piece of protective equipment and would never risk not wearing one. Unfortunately, many of us still neglect to protect our teeth and mouth by not wearing a mouthguard. A sports mouthguard should always be considered when there is a risk of injury to the teeth and mouth.
What is Sports Mouthguard?
A sports guard is a device worn over your teeth that is designed to protect them from trauma. They typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to prevent them from fractures (or even tooth loss) and your lips/tongue from cuts.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three basic types of Sports guards:
Custom- made sports guard
A custom-made mouthguard is precisely like it sounds. These are on the top of the list because they are made specifically for each individual. These are available through your dentist’s office and require having an impression/imprint of your teeth. They can be fully customized and can be even worn with braces. This makes them the most comfortable and provides the best protection for your teeth.
Boil and bite sports guard
These are typically available through your pharmacy or sporting goods store. They are pre-formed plastic that can be heated up (placed into boiling water) and altered (by biting on it) to improve fit. However, it can be difficult to get a perfect fit when doing it yourself and the comfort and protection may be affected
A stock fit sports guard
Stock mouth guards come pre-formed and can not be customized at all. These are usually the most inexpensive option, but they often do not fit well and can be quite bulky. If you find it difficult to speak or breathe with it, consider another option.
How Does it Protect me?
The sports guard is meant to absorb the force from impact to the mouth. This reduces the risk of injury to the teeth and mouth, such as: chipped or broken teeth, root damage, damaged restoration, and cheek and lip lacerations.
How Do I Get a Mouth Guard?
A non-custom option can be purchased at many sporting goods retailers and pharmacies. A custom-fitted sports guard is available from a dental health provider. If you are interested in getting a custom-fitted mouthguard, you can give Sherwood Dental a call, and we will be happy to help. You will need to schedule an appointment to have the process started. In the first appointment, we will take the impression/imprint of your teeth and decide on the best mouthguard option for you. We can also customize the appearance of it as well. The second appointment will be even shorter. We will check the fit and comfort of your sports guard, explain the use and care instructions, and of course, answer any other questions you may have.
How Do I Take Care of my Sports Guard?
Taking care of your custom sports guard is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Always store your sports guard in a firm, perforated container.
- Clean your mouthguard after each use with cool soapy water. (DO NOT USE HOT WATER AS IT MAY DISTORT SHAPE/FIT)
- Store away from high temperatures or direct sunlight.
- Check your guard for signs of damage and ware- especially cracks /tears.
- Have your dentist check it on a regular basis (just bring it with you for your routine examination/hygiene appointments.
- Always keep away from pets (especially dogs as they love to use them as their chew toys.)
How Often Should I Get a New One?
Ideally, you should get a new sports guard at the start of every season. This will help to achieve the best possible fit and protection. Remember to assess it for any damage on a regular basis as sometimes you may need to replace it more often. If in doubt, always have your dentist check it.
Ready for a new sports guard?
If you are interested in getting a new sports guard or simply have more questions about them, just give our friendly dental professionals at Sherwood Dental a call.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to provide a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.