Posted on May 11, 2020
Mouthguards, also known as sports guards or mouth protectors, help to prevent face and mouth injuries and protect teeth from damage. They can be worn for reasons ranging from contact sports, recreational activities, and protecting the teeth during sleep.
What Is a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are coverings worn over teeth to protect them from impact injury and teeth grinding. They typically cover the upper teeth since they extend more and are more likely to take the impact of trauma. However, depending on the circumstances and need for a mouthguard, they can also be custom-fit to the lower teeth.
A good mouthguard should be conformable, durable, and easy to clean. It also should not create breathing or speech restrictions.
Why Are Mouthguards Important?
Mouthguards work as a precautionary device that protects against dental injuries. They help to cushion the blow to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth, cut lips, and other injuries to the tongue, face and jaw.
They are also a great way to protect the soft tissues of the tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
Mouthguards and Sports
There’s always a risk of dental injuries when it comes to contact sports. To keep the mouth protected, a mouthguard should be an essential piece of athletic equipment in contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and boxing.
Participants in non-contact sports and recreational activities that may cause injury to the mouth would also benefit from using a mouthguard. These types of activities include gymnastics, skateboarding, and mountain biking.
Mouthguards and Sleeping
Mouthguards are also effective for people who grind their teeth at night.
Teeth grinding can cause teeth to wear, increasing the risk of tooth fracture or loss. Mouthguards help to prevent this tooth damage and keep teeth protected, even when someone is unaware that they’re harming them.
Braces and Mouthguards
People with braces can also wear mouthguards. In this case, mouthguards not only protect the teeth from injury, but they can also protect the braces from being damaged. The mouthguard provides a layer of protection between the braces and inner cheek to avoid additional injuries.
To limit the damage done to the braces, a custom-fit mouthguard can be created. It is important to talk to your dentist or orthodontist first to select a mouthguard that will offer you the best protection against injury and the damaging of your braces.
What Mouthguard Is Best for You?
Mouthguards can be purchased over the counter, or they can be custom-fit by a dentist. The choice depends on personal and material preferences, comfort level, price range, and the desired or needed protection level. Some different types of mouthguards include custom-made mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and stock mouth guards.
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