Do you play sports or have a young athlete in your family? If so, it is important that you know how crucial it is to wear a mouth guard. Here’s what you need to know:
What Sport is the Mouth Guard For?
In general, the more physical and contact heavy sports, such as football and hockey, present the highest risk of mouth injury or trauma. This could be as minor as chipping a tooth or as severe as biting deeply into your tongue or check. According to the American Dental Association, when you participate in sports without wearing a mouth guard, the risk of oral injury is significantly greater (as high as 90%).
Although football and hockey are the most physically intensive, mouth guards are recommended for basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer players too.
What Type of Mouth Guard Works Best?
You have a few options when it comes to selecting the right type of mouth guard that mostly varies in price and comfort.
Custom Made – widely accepted as best overall mouth guard, these are custom made by a Smile Workshop dentist and crafted to fit your mouth perfectly. The dentist will take impressions that will allow for the mouth guard to not only provide premiere protection but also comfort.
Boil-and-Bite – seen as a viable, and cheaper, alternative to custom made mouth guards, the Boil-and-Bite can provide quality protection for any athlete. You place the mouth guard in hot water and then bite down into it. It forms to your mouth from the pressure of the bite. You can also help it to be more form fitting by using your finger to mold it to the teeth.
Stock/Generic – stock, or “off-the-shelf,” mouth guards provide the least amount of protection out of the three, but can still help protect your teeth and mouth better than not wearing anything at all. It doesn’t always fit well and can sometimes inhibit breathing as well as be uncomfortable.
Now that you are aware of your options, another important consideration is how often you change your mouth guard. Rule-of-thumb suggests that once the mouth guard no longer fits snugly, it is time for a new one. This usually lasts about 2-4 weeks but having at least two on hand can help prevent pushing one mouth guard too far.
Smile Workshop has locations in Dallas, Denton, Balch Springs, Cedar Hill, Timber Creek, Hurst, San Antonio and Amarillo. Give us a call at 1-888-TEETH-04 to schedule an appointment with your local Smile Workshop today!