Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mouth Guards and the Importance of Protecting your Teeth During Sports

Mouth Guards and the Importance of Protecting your Teeth During Sports

If you or your children play a contact sport and you neglect one very important piece of equipment, you’re increasing your risk of injury by 60%. That piece of equipment is the athletic mouth guard, and neglecting to wear one could result in injuries that include tooth chipping or breakage, nerve damage and even tooth loss.

To prevent such problems, a mouth guard is simple, straightforward and highly effective. Both kids and adults should utilize them when playing contact sports or when playing on or with specific equipment, including bicycles, gymnastic apparatuses or even skates. Athletic mouth guards are designed to be comfortable and nonintrusive, and are available in a variety of forms to suit any athlete’s needs. If you play a contact sport or engage in physical activity with some risk of impact, consider any of the following mouth guard types:

  • Custom Fabricated Mouth Guards: Custom mouth guards are created from an impression of your teeth and are laboratory fabricated to perfectly suit your smile. Many athletes prefer custom mouth guards as they’re especially comfortable, long lasting and discreet. If you’re a serious athlete, it may be wise to make an investment in a custom mouth guard, but keep in mind they do require some time and preparation to complete. If you plan on adjusting the structure of your smile with any cosmetic dentistry, your custom mouth guard may no longer fit.

  • Boil and Bite Mouth Guards: A boil and bite mouth guard allows for a type of at-home mouth guard customization. By heating a specialized thermoplastic, manually shaping and biting it and allowing it to cool, the mouth guard is formed.

  • Stock/Standard Athletic Mouth Guards: Standard mouth guards are designed to be one-size-fits all and are readily available at most sporting goods stores. Since stock mouth guards are mass produced, they may not feel as comfortable or provide adequate protection. If you really want to protect your smile and feel comfortable wearing your mouth guard, some degree of custom fitting is needed.  

If you have questions about selecting the proper mouth guard for your specific needs, please feel free to contact us!

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