If you play sports or enjoy being active, you definitely know the importance of protecting yourself from injury. There are various options for protective equipment based on the activity you are participating in. Sports mouth guards should be regarded as essential pieces of athletic equipment. They are designed to reduce the risk of injury to our teeth and mouth and should be worn by anyone at risk and not just the professional athletes.
A mouth guard, also referred to as a sports guard, is a device worn over your teeth that is designed to protect them from trauma. They typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to prevent them from fractures (or even tooth loss) and your lips/tongue from cuts.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three types of sports guards available. The stock fit and boil and bite options are available off the shelf at a sporting goods store and some pharmacies. They typically are bulky and not the most comfortable to wear and do not offer a custom fi,t which may reduce their effectiveness. The third type is a custom-fitted mouthguard that typically is only available through a dental health provider. These are custom-fitted to your mouth and offer the best fit and comfort and wear compliance.
Mouthguards and Braces
Many people think they can not wear a mouth guard if they have braces. unique is not true. A custom-fitted sports guard can be designed so that it can be worn with braces. People who have braces are actually at a higher risk of injury as the brackets on their teeth can easily cut their lips and tissue.
Where do I get one?
This depends on the type of sports guard you choose. As you can probably tell, we strongly recommend a custom-fitted mouthguard as it will give you the best comfort and wear compliance and therefore the best protection for your teeth. If you are looking for a custom-fitted sports guard all you have to do is give Guelph Royal Dental Center a call and we will take care of the rest.
The process is quite simple. It typically requires two short visits to our dental office. In the first appointment, we will take the impression/imprint of your teeth and decide on the best mouthguard option for you. We can also customize the appearance of it as well (let you choose the colour and in some cases even add a special design). At the second visit, you pick up your custom mouthguard. This is when we assess the fit and provide you with detailed use/care instructions.
If you choose to go with a non-custom option you can find them at sporting goods stores, pharmacies, and online. Just make sure you do some research before. If you are not sure which is the best option for you don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for some advice.
Taking care of your Mouthguard
Taking care of your sports guard is quite easy. Just follow the instructions you were provided with it. Some basic tips are:
- Always store it in an appropriate container
- Clean it after every use (typically with soap and water)
- Do not soak it in hot water (this can alter the shape and fit)
- Check it regularly for any sign of damage like chips and cracks
Custom sports guards are designed to minimize the risk of sports-related injuries to your teeth and mouth. The health of your smile is important to us so let us help you to keep it safe. Be sure to ask Guelph Royal Dental Center about the benefits of mouthguards at your next visit, or just give us a call.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.