Do Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth?
When it comes to athletic gear, mouthguards are a must! A properly fitted mouthguard acts a protective shield between your teeth and lips, cheeks and jaws.
It cushions the blow to the face and decreases the chance breaking teeth and other injuries to the face.
Whether you participate in organized sports or recreational activities, a mouth is a wise investment for a healthy smile.
Before you buy a mouthguard, here are 8 important things to know about mouthguards.
#1 Mouthguards aren’t just for Kids
Typically people think of mouthguards for youth sports, but a blow to the face is the same at age any. No matter your age a mouth guard can protect your teeth, gums, soft tissue in the mouth and your tongue from injury.
#2 Mouthguards are only for Contact Sports
Contact sports can pose a higher risk for mouth injuries, but non-contact activities can still pose a risk for dental injuries.
#3 There are 3 kinds of Mouthguards
Custom-fitted mouthguards are specially made by a dentist to fit your mouth.
They are more expensive but usually fit the mouth better.
Stock mouthguards come ready to wear. They are bulky and inexpensive but may not fit as well and can restrict talking.
Boil and bite mouthguards are sold at many sporting goods stores, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Before wearing these mouth projectors, they must be boiled in water and then placed in the mouth to form to the shape of your mouth.
#4 Mouthguards for Braces or Fixed Bridgework
People with braces or fixed bridgework should wear custom-fitted mouthguards.
A blow to the face can damage braces and other orthodontic appliances leading to cuts on the mouth, lips and cheeks.
#5 Cleaning Mouthguards
- Rinse before and after each use and/or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- From time to time, you need to wash your mouthguard in cold, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
#6 How to Store your Mouthguard
Store mouthguards in a sturdy container with vents. It’s important for mouthguards to air out and dry. Without proper ventilation, the moisture can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
#7 Mouthguard Maintenance
Don’t leave your mouthguard in the sun or hot water. Excessive heat can warp the mouthguard so it does not fit as securely in your mouth.
#8 Damaged Mouthguard
Cracked mouthguards should be discarded. A damaged mouthguard does not provide optimal protection for your mouth.