Facts About Your Sports Mouth Guard
A mouth guard protects your teeth and gums if you’re struck in the face during sports activity.
Here’s what you need to know about your athletic mouth guard:
1. Mouth Guards Protect Your Teeth
You’re more likely to get injured if you’re not wearing a mouth guard. For this reason, some contact sports require athletes to wear mouth guards.
A sports mouth guard forms a protective layer over the upper teeth, reducing your risk of injury. For example, a mouth guard may help you avoid knocking out a tooth if you’re tackled on the football field. Likewise, it’ll protect you if a basketball player shoots out their arm to collect a rebound and hits you in the mouth.
2. You Only Need a Mouth Guard for Top Teeth
Unless you have braces, you’ll only need a mouth guard for the top teeth. Not only does this help you breathe easier during the game, but it’ll make for a more comfortable fit.
Although, some sports are exceptions. For example, boxers wear mouth guards that cover both the upper and lower teeth. This is because they’re more likely to receive blows to the jaw.
3. You Should Replace Your Mouth Guard Every 6 Months
Over time, your mouth guard will show signs of wear and tear. That’s why it’s important that you replace it every 6 months or when it starts to look worn. Your sports guard won’t protect you as much if the material is getting thin.
It’s also important that you don’t chew your mouth guard as this will wear it out faster.
4. You Need to Clean Your Mouth Guard
Bacteria and other microorganisms flourish in dark, moist environments. Not only could these microorganisms make you sick, but they can also give you bad breath.
Get in the habit of cleaning your mouth guard after every game and practice. You can do this by gently brushing the night guard with a wet toothbrush. Then, you’ll need to store your night guard in the ventilated container we give you.
5. You Can Get a Mouth Guard for Braces
If you have braces, we recommend that you wear a mouth guard while playing contact sports. It takes several months or even years to undergo orthodontic treatment. The last thing you want is to knock out your tooth in the middle of a game.
A mouth guard will also prevent your wires and brackets from injuring the soft tissue in your mouth.
We recommend getting a custom mouth guard. That way, your appliance won’t fit too tight and interfere with your orthodontics. Likewise, a mouth guard that’s too loose will snag on your braces.
6. You Should Avoid Stock Mouth Guards Altogether
Stock mouth guards don’t offer the same level of protection as a custom appliance. This is because they’re one-size-fits-all, which means they often fit too tight or loose. Generic mouth guards are also made out of weaker material, which is vulnerable to tearing.
If you plan on playing for an entire season, a custom mouth guard is a good investment.
If you’re waiting for a custom mouth guard, we recommend wearing a generic one in the meantime. While it doesn’t offer the same level of protection, it’s better than nothing.
7. Mouth Guards Cost Less Than Emergency Treatment
Getting a sports mouth guard not only protects your oral health, but your wallet. Emergency dental care is much more expensive than getting a mouth guard.
We also don’t recommend trying to cut corners with a stock mouth guard from your local sporting goods store. A generic mouth guard costs less than one from your dentist. But they also don’t offer the same level of custom protection.
Request an Appointment With Us
Our family dentists in Camarillo, CA are accepting new patients! To request an appointment, please call the office of Cristen D. Whitmer DDS at (805) 379-1989. Or request an appointment online – click on the link on our homepage.