Protecting your smile is a lot easier than you think. A mouthguard can make a work of difference. A blow to the face can make a drastic impact on our smile. We’ve all seen pictures of professional hockey players without their pearly whites and most of us cringe at the idea of losing our front teeth. If you participate in any activity where you at risk of being hit by anything in the face, we strongly recommend you get a sports guard.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard (or sports guard) is a device worn over your teeth that is designed to protect them from trauma. They typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to prevent them from fractures (or even tooth loss) and your lips/tongue from cuts.
How Does it Protect me?
The sports guard is meant to absorb the force from impact to the mouth. This reduces the risk of injury to the teeth and mouth such us: chipped or broken teeth, root damage, damaged restoration, and cheek and lip lacerations.
Are there different types of Sports guards?
There are three basic types:
A stock fit sports guard
Stock mouth guards come pre-formed and can not be customized at all. These are usually the most inexpensive option, but they often do not fit well and can be quite bulky. This can make it hard to speak and even breathe while they are in the mouth. Most people will find them quite uncomfortable and will not like wearing them.
Boil and bite sports guard
These are typically available through your pharmacy or sporting goods store. They are pre-formed plastic that can be heated up (placed into boiling water) and altered (by biting on it) to improve fit. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds and for most people, it can be challenging to get a perfect fit and therefore there is a decrease in effectiveness or wear compliance.
Custom-made sports guard
A custom-made mouthguard is exactly like it sounds. They are made specifically for each individual with a customized fit. These are available through your dentist’s office and require having an impression (mould) of your teeth to be taken. They can be fully customized and can be even worn with braces. This makes them the most comfortable and provides the best protection for your teeth and mouth.
Which option is best for me?
We strongly recommend a custom-fitted mouthguard. Because they are made to fit your mouth they will offer the best comfort and fit. It is important that a mouth guard fits correctly so that it can provide the best protection to your mouth and teeth.
How Do I get One?
A non-custom option can be purchased at many sporting goods retailers and pharmacies. A custom-fitted sports guard is available from a dental health provider. If you are interested in getting a custom-fitted guard, you can give Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre a call, and we will be happy to help. We will need to schedule an appointment to have the process started. In the first appointment, we will take the impression/imprint of your teeth and decide on the best mouthguard option for you. We can also customize the appearance of it as well. The second appointment will be even shorter. We will check the fit and comfort of your sports guard, explain the use and care instructions, and of course, answer any other questions you may have.
Sports Guard Do’s and Don’ts
- DO wear it every time you are at risk of injury to your teeth and mouth
- DO clean it after every use (antibacterial soap and warm water will work well)
- DO store it in a proper container away from high heat and sunlight
- DO examine it regularly (if it has any damage like chips or cracks it needs to be replaced)
- DO keep it away from your pets (especially dogs as they often mistake them for chew toys)
- DON’T clean it with hot water (this may distort its shape)
- DON’T share it with other people
Wearing a sports guard is a simple and effective way of preventing injury to your teeth and smile.
Need a Mouth Guard or a Dentist?
Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre is here to help, give us a call today!
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.