Mouthguards are important for anyone – children or adults – who play sports like soccer, football, boxing, baseball, softball, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball, gymnastics, and skateboarding. Whether you wear braces or not, mouthguards are essential for protecting the mouths of athletes – mouth and jaw injuries are very common for sports players.
Types of Mouthguards
When choosing a mouthguard, it is important that you pick one that custom fits your mouth and teeth correctly. You also should make sure that your mouthguard does not block the airway in any way. There are three types of mouthguards that are most commonly used: the pre-made guard, the ‘boil and bite’ guard, and the custom made guard. The first two are more likely to fit improperly. An improperly fitting guard may actually cause more harm than good. Additionally, guards should be specially matched to the sport they are used for. They come in different thicknesses and densities. The more violent the sport, the heavier and more shock absorbing the guard should be and the more imperative it is for the guard to fit accurately. If you have any questions about how to properly wear your mouthguard, contact Westfield Family Dentistry. Dr. Arfanis can show you how to protect your smile!
Caring for Your Mouthguard
For best results and maximum effectiveness, you should keep your mouthguard clean and store it properly to prevent any damage. You should also keep in mind that mouthguards need to be replaced periodically.
Here Are Just A Few Easy Ways to Keep Your Mouthguard Clean and Working Properly:
- After use, gently clean your mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Keep your mouthguard in a case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or heat, it could warp and no longer fit your mouth.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every sports season; this is especially true for growing kids!
- Do not wear a retainer while wearing a mouthguard! If you have braces, your dentist will help create a custom made mouthguard for you.
- Do not chew on your mouthguard.
- Bring your mouthguard to your next check-up, your doctor will help you determine if it is time for a new one or not!