If you lost your two front teeth to a sports-related accident, talking, as well as chewing, would be challenging. Face-to-face conversations could be embarrassing, and you may not smile as much as you used to. Thankfully, a mouth guard worn during physical activities, such as riding a bike, skateboarding, or even playing basketball and soccer, can significantly minimize the risk of sports related dental trauma.
Did you know that mouth guards are a mandatory piece of equipment in boxing, hockey, and professional football?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), approximately one-third of all dental injuries are directly related to sports. Mouth guards can prevent an estimated 200,000 oral injuries every year – injuries like a fractured jaw, broken teeth, and damage to previous dental work.
Types and Characteristics of Mouthguards
A mouth guard is usually made of soft plastic, and it is used to prevent injury to the teeth, tongue, mouth, gums, and jaw by dissipating the force of a sports accident. It usually covers the upper teeth.
There are several types of mouth guards to choose:
- Stock or ready-made
- Boil and bite, made of soft plastic that molds to the mouth after heating
- Custom-fitted, made in a dental laboratory based on an impression of your mouth taken by your dentist
With so many options to choose from, you may be wondering what to look for in a mouth guard. Some general guidelines include:
- Tear resistance
- Ease of cleaning
- Does not restrict breathing or speech
A strap is also an effective feature that will help to keep the mouth guard from getting lost or damaged. A strap will allow the mouth guard to be suspended from an athlete’s facemask when they are not playing.
General Care Instructions
After each use, rinse in cool water (or with an antiseptic mouth wash). You can also use toothbrush and toothpaste.
Store the mouth guard in a firm, secure, and perforated container that allows air to circulate.
The mouth guard should never be left in direct sunlight or in other hot areas, as the soft plastic can deform when heated and may no longer fit your mouth.
When you come into the office, make sure to bring your bring your mouth guard so that we can make sure it is still in good condition.
Protect Your Smile with Greenville Family Smiles
A mouth guard is a vitally important piece of safety equipment that any athlete of any age should be using. Did you know that 50% of concussions are avoidable with the use of mouth guards? If you participate in contact sports, or are the proud parent of a little athlete, call our office today to learn more about keeping you and yours safe with our professionally crafted dental mouth guards.