Sports Mouth Guards for Better Tooth Protection
Outdoor sports such as football, hockey, basketball, skiing and skateboarding pose a great threat to a player’s teeth. Since these are all risky sports, jaw and mouth injuries are very common and so it is a good idea to protect your teeth with a sports mouth guard.
Statistics show that people playing sports without a mouth guard are more likely to experience damaged teeth. While the risk of injury is common in contact sports, such as wrestling and boxing, dental injuries can happen in non-contact activities as well, such as skiing and skating.
Although teeth injuries caused by non-contact sports activities are low, the cost and the time of treatment is high for a mouth injury. The approximate dental cost to fix a lost front tooth can amount to somewhere between $5,000 to $10,000, whereas the normal price of a custom fitted sports mouth guard will be less than $100. Losing a tooth can affect your confidence and your well-being, and this is the reason why dentists recommend a sports mouth guard as the best prevention.
How exactly does a sports mouth guard provide protection?
Sports mouth guards are fitted over the teeth. They provide a cushion effect by redistributing the effect of the impact evenly across the surface. The sports mouth guard shields the upper teeth and also protects the lips, tongue and lining of the cheek because it acts as a protective barrier between the teeth and these soft parts of the mouth. This makes a sports mouth guard a crucial part of your sports gear.
The different types of sports mouth guards are:
The Stock mouth guards – These types are ready-made and are very simple to use. All you need to do is place them into your mouth to protect your teeth. These type of sports mouth guards are available in sports stores and are also sold through online stores.
The Boil-and-bite type mouth guards – Although they are not custom-made they can fit into your mouth perfectly since these are manufactured from materials that soften when heated. So the mouth guard is at first placed in hot water and once it becomes soft you can place it into your mouth and it will fit very closely to the teeth.
The Custom-made sports mouth guards: You will get them at your dental office. A dentist will take the measurements of your mouth and then use these measurements to design a sports mouth guard that fits in perfectly. The dentist also provides fitting service to make sure that the mouth guard fits properly and is comfortable.
Buying the right sports mouth guard
Sports Mouth guards differ in price, ease, and effectiveness. The best mouth guard is resilient and secure. It should provide optimal protection, should be effortless to maintain, and should not hinder your speech or breathing.
Here are some of the details you need to keep in mind when buying a mouth guard:
Stock mouth guards are the cheapest sports mouth guards. Although they provide good protection you will have to keep biting down on them to keep them in place.
Boil-and-bite types fit well, stay in place and are cost-effective but with frequent bites into the hot mouth guard, it can lose its thickness.
Custom-made mouth guards are comparatively pricey, but the high price has benefits too. These offer the best fit, comfort and protection.
For those of you who wear braces or any other permanent orthodontic devices, it is vital to have a proper fitting sports mouth guard. Even a mild blow to the mouth can break the braces, and can also lead to cuts and tears of the soft tissue within the mouth. Sports mouth guards are normally used only on the upper teeth, but if you have braces on your lower teeth dentists recommend using sports mouth guards for both sets of teeth.
Some tips for caring for your sports mouth guard:
- Wash before and after every use or brush using a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Periodically clean your mouth guard in cool, soapy water and wash them carefully
- Carry the mouth guard in a resilient box that has vents
- Make sure to never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water for too long as it will alter the shape.
- Frequently check for wear and tear and if you see any, get them replaced