When it comes to protecting your mouth during sports and recreational activities, a mouthguard should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.
Studies show that an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards help buffer an impact or blow that otherwise could cause broken teeth, jaw injuries, or cuts to the lip, tongue or face.
Mouthguards can also reduce the rate and severity of concussions because they help absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw.
Mouthguards are used most commonly in contact sports, such as boxing, football, hockey, and lacrosse, but findings show that they are also practical for basketball, gymnastics, and skateboarding.
There are three types of mouthguards: the ready-made, or stock, mouthguard; the mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” mouthguard; and the custom mouthguard made by a dentist.
A custom mouthguard made for you or your child by Dr. Walters will be the most comfortable because it conforms to the exact shape and placement of your teeth. It offers superior protection, as well.
Treating a sports-related dental injury can cost thousands of dollars, so a custom mouthguard is a worthwhile investment
From the American Dental Association*
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOUTHGUARD
- Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents;
- Don’t leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water;
- Check for wear and replace the mouthguard when necessary
GET THE MOST FROM YOUR MOUTHGUARD
- Don’t wear removable appliances, such as retainers, with a mouthguard
- Get a custom-fitted mouthguard from your dentist if you wear braces or have a protruding jaw, receding chin or cleft palate
- Don’t chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard
- Wear the mouthguard during practice sessions as well as during games
- Schedule regular dental checkups and visit your dentist before each playing season
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental visit
*For more information, visit http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/mouthguards”.
Prepared by the ADA Division of Communications, in cooperation with The Journal of the American Dental Association and the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. Unlike other portions of JADA, this page may be clipped and copied as a handout for patients, without first obtaining reprint permission from the ADA Publishing Division. Any other use, copying or distribution, whether in printed or electronic form, is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of the ADA Publishing Division.