Whether participating or cheering from the sidelines, Americans love sports. From baseball to football to basketball, we enjoy the thrill of competition. Participating in sports for recreation is great for your health, but it can be hazardous to your mouth. In fact, 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the face.
To keep your smile in tact, most dentists and orthodontists recommend wearing a mouth guard in contact sports like hockey, football, or soccer. As well, they also suggest using this type of dental appliance in non-contact activities such as skateboarding and bicycling. Mouth guards help cushion your teeth, gums, and jaws from common injuries sustained during sports activities.
Designed to cover your teeth, mouth guards come in different varieties, including:
The least expensive option, ready-made mouth guards are also less comfortable and less effective than the other types of protection. You can find ready-made mouth guards at most sporting goods stores.
Generally created from acrylic or thermoplastic materials, mouth-formed guards will shape to fit your mouth are being placed in boiling water. These mouth guards don’t offer the same level of support as custom-made appliances.
This is the best option, as custom mouth guards are constructed to precisely fit your mouth. Your orthodontist will take a mold of your teeth that a dental lab will use to produce your custom mouth guard.
Once you purchase a mouth guard, make sure to take good care of your oral appliance. Clean and rinse the guard after each use; then, allow it to air dry. Remember to check the appliance before you play to ensure it is still in good condition.