Mouth Guards/Sports Guards
The more active you are, the more you need to wear one. Anyone including children and adults who are physically active and play contact sports should wear a mouth guard!
Sports related injuries account for 3 times more facial/dental injuries than violence or traffic accidents and 6 times more than work related accidents!
Many sports related injuries occur between the ages of 6 –19!
Dental injures are PAINFUL, COSTLY, AND PERMANENT!
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is a flexible appliance made out of plastic that is worn in athletic and recreational activities to help protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw from trauma. It should be worn in addition to protective headgear, which also protects against injuries to the head and neck.
Why should I wear a mouth guard?
Mouth guards can prevent serious injures such as:
- Fractures of the facial bone especially the cheek bones
- Possible permanent injury to the jaw joints
- Broken teeth, teeth knocked out or displaced from its socket
- Lacerations to lip cheek and chin
- Incidents of unconsciousness
- Cerebral hemorrhages
What type of sports should I wear a mouth guard?
Anytime there is an opportunity for contact with other participants or hard surfaces, it is advisable to wear a mouth guard.
What is the ideal mouth guard?
The ideal mouth guard:
- Protects teeth, soft tissue, bone structure and TMJ joints
- Allow speaking and does not limit breathing
- High degree of comfort
- Limits incidence of concussions and neck injuries
- Is durable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless and tasteless.
Where do I get a mouth guard?
The best choice is a mouth guard custom made by your dentist. It offers the best protection for your teeth. The advantages are:
- Custom fitted
- Most comfortable
- Least likely to interfere with speech or breathing
- Enables you to be more competitive, since you can perform with confidence
- Prevents facial injuries
- Can have additional protection any previous injuries
Why can’t I buy one at the drug store?
You could buy an inexpensive mouth guard at your local drugstore but there are many
- Limited sizes
- May not fit well
- May inhibit speech
- May inhibit breathing
- Unable to adjust
- May be uncomfortable causing individuals not to wear them
- May require the jaw to be closed to hold the guard in place causing discomfort.
Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth protectors come in basically three different types or designs:
One of the most common mouth guards is the kind you soak in hot water and then mold to your teeth.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are usually made by your dentist, and as such, provide a much greater measure of confidence in their ability to protect your mouth and other facial structures.
The least attractive option are pre-molded mouth guards you typically find in point-of-sale aisles at sporting goods stores. These may be ready to wear, but because they are not molded to the unique shape of your teeth and mouth, can easily become dislodged.
Care for Your Mouth Guard
Your mouth guard needs to be cleaned (usually with warm soap and water) and
allowed to air dry after each use. You also can soak your mouth guard in an antiseptic
mouthwash to help remove many kinds of germs.
If you don’t regularly clean your mouth guard, bacteria and other germs will grow on the device and enter your mouth the next time you use the guard, making you vulnerable to infections.