Ensuring your smile is protected is important while playing sports. Mouthguards should be considered an essential piece of equipment for athletes, especially those playing high contact sports. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends athletes any sport that could result in a mouth injury wear a mouthguard.
Types of mouthguards
Not all mouthguards are the same, and making sure you have the right mouthguard is essential to protecting your smile.
There are three basic types of mouthguard: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and custom-made mouthguards available from your orthodontist.
It is important that the mouthguard you choose fits properly in your mouth, and is tear resistant, comfortable, and easy to clean. You should be able to breathe regularly with the mouthguard in. Pre-made and boil-and-bite mouthguards can be found at virtually any sporting goods store or drugstore.Your orthodontist can create a custom mouthguard, and can ensure the highest level of protection against injury.
Taking care of your mouthguard
Wearing your mouthguard is important, but it’s also necessary to properly care for it. It must be cleaned and stored properly to prevent damage to it, and to ensure it continues to work properly to protect your smile.
To ensure your mouthguard stays clean and works properly, follow these tips:
- Brush your mouthguard with a toothpaste and toothbrush after each use
- Keep the mouthguard in a protective case when you aren’t using it
- Keep your mouthguard away from heat to prevent it from melting or warping
- Get a new mouthguard at the beginning of every sports season.
- Don’t wear a retainer while wearing a mouthguard
- Never chew on your mouthguard
- Take your mouthguard to dental checkups so your dentist can check it for you.
Some of the most common injuries athletes suffer are to the mouth and jaw. A properly fitted mouthguard can prevent those from happening. Ask us about a custom fitted mouthguard at your next appointment.