It is common to wear helmets and other protective gear while playing sports, but how often do you remember to wear an athletic mouthguard? HomeTown Dental at Belknap recommends a mouthguard as one of an athlete’s most important pieces of protective gear.
What Is an Athletic Mouthguard?
An athletic mouthguard is a device that goes inside the mouth to protect not just the teeth and lips, but the cheeks, tongue, and jaw. The American Dental Association strongly endorses the use of mouthguards by athletes, especially young people, as one of the best ways to protect against oral injuries. As much as 39% of all dental injuries are due to sports, so a mouthguard really is crucial!
Types of Athletic Mouthguards
There are several different types of athletic mouthguard. Stock, or ready-made, mouthguards are the ones you can find in many sporting goods stores. These are cheap and easy to get, but because they are not custom-fitted to your mouth they may be bulky and uncomfortable and do not protect your teeth as well as a more form-fitting piece. Mouth-formed guards can also be found at some sporting goods stores. These mouthguards adapt to your mouth by softening first in boiling water before being placed in your mouth and then hardening. If it does not set right, then the process has to be repeated all over again.
Without a doubt the best, and safest, type of mouthguard is one that is custom-made for your unique mouth. We make these ourselves after taking impressions of your teeth. Custom mouthguards are also the ideal choice for those with other oral health needs, including braces, dentures, and a cleft palate.
Do You Need to Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?
The ADA recommends a number of different athletes wear mouthguards, not just for those who play football, hockey, and other contact sports. Even if you are a gymnast, bicyclist, weight-lifter, baseball player, skateboarder or other limited-contact athlete you should wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are especially important for young people whose teeth and jaw are still developing.
How to Care for Your Athletic Mouthguard
Avoid chewing on your mouthguard as this can damage the device and make it less effective when you need it most. If you do notice that your mouthguard has been damaged, contact us immediately so that we can replace it with a brand new one. Clean your mouthguard regularly, both rinsing it and brushing it with toothpaste. When not in use, your mouthguard should be stored away safely. If needed, we can help provide you with a special, perforated container to protect your mouthguard.
Looking to Get an Athletic Mouthguard?
If you are an athlete looking for a high-quality athletic mouthguard, or a parent who wants to make sure their sporty little one has the best possible protection, then give us a call at 682-204-5735. Here at HomeTown Dental at Belknap, we believe that the best way to care for your teeth is to prevent problems from ever happening in the first place. So call today and find out how a mouthguard can benefit you!