If you sustain an injury to your mouth or jaw when playing a contact sport, your smile could be severely damaged, requiring various expensive treatments to repair it. The good news is that a well-fit mouth guard can help to keep your teeth and gums safe. If you play any form of contact sport regularly, the American Dental Association recommends that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
Types of Mouth Guards
Making sure to wear the right mouth guard is extremely important. There are three kinds of mouth guards generally available: pre-made mouth guards, “boil-and-bite” mouth guards, and custom-made mouth guards. Pre-made guards are cheaper and readily available commercially, but they won’t fit your mouth particularly well, given that they are mass-produced. “Boil-and-bite” mouth guards, meanwhile, are still mass-produced but are fitted to your teeth by being boiled before you bite down on them, allowing them to better fit your teeth. These are also commercially available. Custom-made mouth guards are generally the strongest and will best fit your mouth. They will allow the wearer to speak and breathe normally and offer the best protection. At Smile Dental Care, we take pride in creating this top-of-the-line protection for our patients.
Caring for Your Mouth Guard
To make sure your mouth guard is protecting your teeth, be sure to take good care of it. You can keep your mouth guard in pristine condition by:
- Gently cleaning your mouth guard with toothpaste after each use
- Making sure to bring your mouth guard to every dental checkup, so we can check to see if it’s in good condition.
- Not chewing gum
- Not cutting pieces off your mouth guard
- Not letting your mouth guard sit in hot water or in the sun, which can deform it and cause it to melt
- Not wearing a retainer with your mouth guard (instead, we’ll design a mouth guard that protects both your teeth and your braces)
- Replacing your mouth guard at the start of every sports season
- Replacing your mouth guard if it no longer fits properly or becomes worn
- Storing your mouth guard in a protective case