Mouthguards

What are mouthguards?

Mouthguards are flexible, plastic mouthpieces that protect the teeth from damage during recreational or sporting activities.

 

When should a mouthguard be worn?

Whenever there is a need to protect the teeth and mouth from injury, a mouthguard should be worn. Since more than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw occur each year, dentists encourage the use of this product for all types of potentially dangerous sporting activities.

 

How does this device prevent injury?

Because of the way a mouthguard fits over the teeth and gums, many types of injuries can be avoided such as chipped teeth or tooth loss. Also lips and cheeks can get cut or bruised during a high-impact sport. This device helps to move the soft tissue away from the teeth, keeping the mouth protected from this sort of injury. This guard also helps to protect jamming of the lower and upper jaw and is potentially preventing more serious injuries such as cerebral hemorrhage, concussion, neck injuries and jaw fractures.

 

What activities would be safer with use of a mouthguard?

You should wear a mouthguard during sports that involve physical contact and high-impact sports. These sports include softball, wrestling, basketball, lacrosse, rugby, skating, soccer, martial arts, bicycling and skateboarding.

 

Are mouthguards required for any types of sporting events?

At this time, five amateur-level sporting events require use of mouthguards, both during competitions and during practice. These include women’s field hockey, men’s lacrosse, boxing, ice hockey and football.

 

Should children wear mouthguards?

Some schools that participate in contact sports encourage the use of this equipment for protection. Parents and teachers should become informed of the potential for mouth injury during school and after-school sporting events, and encourage the use of a mouthguard.

 

Are there different types of mouthguards?

There are three kinds of mouthguards: stock, mouth-formed and custom-made.

 

What is the cheapest mouthguard available?

A stock mouthguard is cost-effective but offers a limited fit adjustment. This piece offers the lowest amount of protection and may interfere with breathing or speech, as the jaw must be closed while wearing.

 

What is the most popular mouthguard?

Mouth-formed mouthguards are worn by many athletes. These are made from thermoplastic material and have to be first put in hot water and then shaped around the teeth with the fingers for a good fit.

 

Which mouthguards fit the best and provide the most protection?

Custom-made mouthguards are the best choice since they are made specifically for your mouth. This is the most expensive option, but lasts the longest, is the most comfortable and provides the most protection.

 

What is the best way to take care of a mouthguard?

After every use, your mouthguard should be cleaned with warm water and a toothbrush and toothpaste and then be soaked in mouthwash. It should be stored in a plastic box that allows air circulation to assist with drying and prevent the growth of bacteria. It should never be left in direct sunlight or exposed to high temperatures. Be sure the mouthguard is not bent, and never use another person’s mouthguard. The mouthguard will have to be replaced when you see excessive wear or damage.

If you experience any problems with your mouthguard, please contact your dentist.