Playing sports is an important part of the process of growing up and staying healthy. But how much would we love participating in sports if we or our kids happened to lose a front tooth because of it?
Having conversations would not be comfortable. Chewing certain foods, such as an apple or slice of pizza, wouldn’t be much fun either. Not to mention pronunciation of certain words. Fortunately, mouth guards are available to help children and adults of all ages protect their teeth while playing sports.
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard that properly fits, or a mouth protector, is an essential part of the athletic uniform and gear because it protects your teeth and gums. They are more likely to be used in contact sports such as football, hockey, boxing, lacrosse and rugby.
During the weekends, adults and teens alike experience thousands of injuries each year out on the playing fields, the basketball courts, skating and biking and other sports activities. Injuries that occur to the face can result in injuries to the teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Mouth guards help protect against these injuries as well as injuries in non-contact sports like gymnastics. It is recommended you wear a mouth guard in any recreational activity that can threaten the face in any way.
Three Kinds of Mouth Guards
There are three basic types of mouth guards:
- the stock, or ready-made mouth guard
- the mouth forming “boil and bite” mouth guard
- the custom made by a dentist mouth guard
All mouth guards provide a certain amount of protection depending on its type. A mouth guard that is custom fitted by Sonora dentist Dr. Berger can be made for specifically for the athlete and the sport itself.
The most efficient mouth protector should be comfortable, tear-resistant, and resilient. You should be able to have no restriction from speaking and breathing. It should also fit properly, be durable and easily cleaned.
Mouth guards sometimes come equipped with a strap. This strap can be fastened to the front, and it protects the guard from being lost and suspended from a face mask when a helmet is not being used. Most of the time a mouth guard covers and protects only the top teeth. If your jaw is a protruding one, Dr. Berger may recommend having a lower guard as well.
Sports That Recommend the Use of Mouth Guards
Below is a list of sports that the American Dental Association and the International Academy for Sports Dentistry recommend that you wear a properly fitted mouth guard.
- Equestrian Events
- Extreme Sports
- Field Events
- Field Hockey
- Ice Hockey
- Inline Skating
- Martial Arts
- Shot Putting
- Water Polo
The sports listed above have the potential to pose serious injury the head, face or mouth due to head-to-head contact, tooth clenching, dangerous falling and blows to the mouth. Any properly fitted mouth guard will suffice for these events and sports.
Basic Care of a Mouth Guard
Every time the mouth guard is used, be sure to rinse it with water and antiseptic soap. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is also recommended. Find a good container to keep the guard in when not being used to prevent germs and damage. Also keep it away from hot sources and water so it maintains it shape. Check for tears and rips as that can irritate the mouth and bring it in to your dentist in Sonora, Dr. Paul Berger on checkups for inspections.
Having a mouth guard will prove to be a wise choice when regardless of a win or loss, you have a full smile to show.