Protecting your teeth while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in Footy, basketball, boxing, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, martial arts, rugby, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding. It’s recommended by the Australian Dental Association that you wear a mouth guard.
TYPES OF MOUTHGUARDS
Choosing the right mouth guard is essential. There are three basic types of mouth guards: the pre-made mouth guard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouth guard, and a custom-made mouth guard from your dentist. When you choose a mouth guard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
Pre-made mouth guard and boil-and-bite mouth guard can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, while custom-made mouth guard is specially designed by your dentist to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries.
The difference between the mouth guard that you buy over the counter from the sports shop and the one that you have at the dentist is crucial. The one size fits all mouth guard doesn’t provide the protection for your teeth as it’s not made to precisely fit and protect your teeth. However, if you are for a quick solution, boil & bite mouth guard is better than no guard at all!
TAKING CARE OF YOUR MOUTH GUARD
Similar to a retainer, braces, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean, as well as knowing when to replace your old mouth guard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working well.
- Gently scrub your mouth guard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouth guard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouth guard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouth guard.
- Mouthguards come in different thickness, shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape and will protect your teeth particularly in contact sports
Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury to your smile. Be sure to ask your dentist about mouthguards at your next appointment.