Why Wear A Custom Sports Mouth Guard?
Wearing a custom sports mouth guard while playing your favorite sport can greatly reduce your risk of an injury to the mouth. Did you know that approximately one in three dental injuries is sports related and many are dental emergencies?
There are numerous sports where the level of contact and risk of injury to the mouth or jaw are high. Some of the most common sports that demand the use of a dental sports mouth guard include:
Basketball Hockey Boxing
Rugby Wrestling Soccer
In this article, our Ontario dentists at Country Dental share four ways that a custom dental mouth guard can provide protection for athletes. We’ll also offer several tips on how to store and your clean your mouth guard.
1. A Custom Sports Mouth Guard Will Protect Your Teeth Better
There are a number of fairly good all sports mouth guards on the market. However, a custom guard made by your dentist is designed specifically for “your” teeth and jaw and will offer better protection.
A custom made dental mouth guard helps to cushion any blow to the face. It will greatly reduce the risk of damage to your teeth and help avoid broken or chipped teeth. It not only protects against getting a tooth knocked out but also protects against tooth cracks and fractures. The mouth guard will work by spreading out the force of that blow to a larger area rather than just the single point of contact.
For most athletes, their upper teeth protrude forward more than their lower teeth, which means the upper teeth usually takes the majority of the force when hit. Because the lower teeth are set further back and are naturally more protected, mouth guards for the upper teeth are most common.
If you are an athlete and need mouth protection for your sport, consider having a custom sports mouth guard created by our dentist. During your visit, your dentist will discuss whether you should consider a full mouth guard or just an upper teeth mouth guard.
2. A Custom Sports Mouth Guard Also Protects Your Jaw
The flexibility of a custom sports mouth guard will help to displace the force of a hit and prevent your teeth from banging together. It will also distribute the pressure applied to the jawbone during a hit, and help avoid a jaw fracture or break. You can think of a mouth guard as extra padding to protect your jaw and teeth.
3. Added Protection for Your Tongue, Lips, Cheeks, and Gums
Did you know that when injured, the soft tissues in your mouth can take weeks to heal and may even cause scars? Not only do mouth guards protect your actual teeth and your jaw, but they also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
4. A Custom Sports Mouth Guard Can Protect Your Braces
Regardless of age, all athletes who wear braces should seriously consider having a custom sports mouth guard made for them. It will protect the metal brackets and any other orthodontic appliances installed in the mouth. The mouth guard also protects your cheek and lips against the impact of the gums against the braces.
As mentioned, many athletes will only wear a mouth guard on their upper teeth but if you have top and bottom braces, our orthodontists highly recommend having an upper and lower mouth guard made.
Additional Tips for Athletes
It is very important to take proper care of your custom sports mouth guard between games and practices, as this will help extend its life. Here are some care tips to consider:
- Always store and transport your mouth guard in its proper container
- The container should contain vents to allow the mouth guard to air dry and to prevent bacteria from growing
- Cleaning your mouth guard before and after each use is highly recommended
- Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to ensure a proper cleaning
- Bring your sports mouth guard to every dental appointment so your dentist can evaluate its condition and ensure a proper fit
In addition to preventing dental injuries while playing sports, a custom dental mouth guard can also be used to treat problems with Bruxism and TMJ.
About Country Dental
Serving residents of Southern Ontario, Country Dental now operates three dental clinics including Toronto, Cambridge, and Fergus. Along with orthodontics and kids dental services, Country Dental offers dental care for the entire family, plus dental emergency services.
Follow us @CountryDental on twitter and/or like us on Facebook for updates. Contact us to book an appointment for a custom sports mouth guard fitting, please contact one of our Country Dental clinics:
If you (or someone you love) play sports and need a custom sports mouth guard:
For additional Canadian Dental Association information on the use of custom sports mouth guards, check out this PDF file entitled, Use of Mouthguards Among 12- to 14-Year-Old Ontario Schoolchildren.
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