September 21, 2015 | by Marla
It's back to school time, which means stocking up on all the essential supplies to get the year off to a good start. For many students back to school also means participating in sports. A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they're not wearing one. Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth and help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injury to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Custom-fitted: These are specially made, by your dentist, for you and offer the best fit.
- Stock: These come pre-formed, ready to wear and are inexpensive. They can be bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and often don't fit very well.
- Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
A properly fitted mouthguard is especially important for those who wear braces. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.
At our office, we make custom fit, athletic guards that can be formed around braces. Custom guards are made with a more durable, but thinner material so they not only protect the teeth but are more comfortable to wear. They can be made with all kinds of fun colors and patterns - even colors that celebrate your team spirit!
Finally, mouthguards aren't just for kids. Adults participating in contact sports also benefit from wearing a guard. Contact our office to talk to the dentist about selecting mouthguards that will provide the best protection for you and your family.