Do you or your child play sports? It is important that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and the surrounding tissues from injury. Wearing a mouth guard during sports can reduce the risk of injury to the lips, tongue, and soft tissues of the mouth. A mouth guard can also help the wearer avoid chipped or broken teeth or tooth loss. Mouth guards are especially important during contact sports like football and soccer. However, those who play noncontact sports like gymnastics can also benefit from wearing a mouth guard.
Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards that are custom made by a dentist are the most effective, as they provide the best protection and fit. Another type of mouth guard is the stock mouth guard. These come pre-formed and ready to wear. Unfortunately, they don’t fit as well as custom-made mouth guards. Boil and bite mouth guards can be bought at most sporting goods stores. The mouth guard is softened in hot water and then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using the fingers and tongue.
Braces and Mouth Guards
Injury to the mouth can damage braces or other fixed appliances. Because of this, it is especially important for those who wear braces to wear protective mouth guards while playing sports. Your dentist or orthodontist will provide you with a custom-fitted mouth guard that will meet your needs.
Caring for Your Mouth Guard
Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or a mouthwash before and after each use. You may also clean it with a mild soap and a toothbrush. Keep your mouth guard away from hot temperatures, like hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight. This will help protect your mouth guard from distorting. Check your mouth guard for wear and tear from time to time. If you find holes or tears in your mouth guard, or if it becomes uncomfortable or loose, replace it. When you come in for your regular dental checkups, bring your mouth guard and have our dentist examine it.
For more information and to schedule an appointment with our dentist, contact our office today.