Custom Sports Mouth Guards
Helmets, knee pads, shin guards…if you’re an avid athlete or the parent of one, you know the importance of proper protective gear. But did you know that up to 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the face? Protect your smile and your mouth with a comfortable, custom-molded mouthguard to dramatically reduce the risk of sports-related oral injury.
What is a Sports Mouth Guard?
A sports mouth guard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile as well as your lips, tongue, face, and jaw. New research indicates that sports mouth guards can even reduce the severity of concussions.
While hockey, boxing, football, and rugby players would obviously benefit from custom mouthguards, others, like bicyclists, weightlifters, and gymnasts, made the ADA’s list of athletes who need sports mouthguards. This may sound excessive, but studies show that 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports related. Because the face is an important part of a person’s image, self confidence, and sometimes success, it’s better to be safe than…toothless!
Types of Sports Mouth Guards
You may have seen ready-made mouthguards in a department or sporting goods store. These generic mouthguards are inexpensive and readily available. Unfortunately, because they are not custom-fitted, they may seem bulky and uncomfortable in your mouth. Ready-made mouthguards are secured by closed jaws, which means when an athlete wears a ready-made mouthguard, speaking and breathing may be difficult.
If you’re looking for something that is more custom fit to your mouth, you might consider mouth-formed mouthguards. Acrylic, shell liner mouthguards provide a comfortable and secure fit over your natural teeth. Unfortunately, many users report that this mouthguard can have an unpleasant odor or taste. It can also harden over time and lose its flexibility. Another type of mouth-formed mouthguard, the thermoplastic style, can be customized by heating it in water, then biting it. It will take on the shape of your bite. While these maintain their flexibility, they can feel bulky.
Custom Mouth Guards
The best solution, custom mouthguards are comfortable, practical, and protective. A dentist or lab technician creates the custom mouthguard after taking impressions of your teeth.
Before you purchase any custom mouthguard, talk to your dentist. Special mouthguards or mouth protectors are recommended for patients with braces, removable bridges or dentures, a protruding jaw, or a cleft palate.
If you have questions about sports mouthguards, call us. We’ll be happy to help you decide which type of mouthguard is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mouth Guards
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is comprised of soft plastic. They come in standard or custom fit to adapt comfortably to the upper teeth.
Why is a mouth guard important?
A mouth guard protects the teeth from possible sport injuries. It does not only protect the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw bone as well. It can contribute to the protection of a child from head and neck injuries such as concussions. Most injuries occur to the mouth and head area when a child is not wearing a mouth guard.
When should my child wear a mouth guard?
It should be worn during any sport-based activity where there is risk of head, face, or neck injury. Such sports include hockey, soccer, karate, basketball, baseball, skating, skateboarding, as well as many other sports. Most oral injuries occur when children play basketball, baseball, and soccer.
How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
Choose a mouth guard that your child feels is comfortable. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech to any great degree, it is probably not appropriate for your child.
There are many options in mouth guards. Most guards are found in athletic stores. These vary in comfort, protection as well as cost. The least expensive tend to be the least effective in preventing oral injuries. Customized mouth guards can be provided through our practice. They may be a bit more expensive, but they are much more comfortable and shock absorbent.