Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries received by athletes. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting or wrestling, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that you wear a mouthguard.
Types of Mouthguards
Choosing the right mouthguard is important. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard.
Advantages of a custom mouthguard:
- Professional Fit: Injury prevention to the teeth and gums by covering more of the surface and customized to fit any size mouth
- Comfort: Natural and secure fit that encourages athletes to keep in mouth
- Oxygen Intake: For maximum performance and endurance
- Greater Thickness: Absorbs more energy and less force is transferred to athletes during direct hit
- Speech: Provides clear communication on the field/court
North Appleton Dentistry wants to be a small, yet very critical part in your safety! Help prevent unnecessary sports injuries in children and adults!
Taking Care of Your Mouthguard
Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean. You should also know when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, and your dentist can check to make sure it's still in good shape.
Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports related injury. Be sure to ask your dentist about mouthguards at your next dental checkup - GO TEAM!