Monday, March 5, 2012

Sports Mouth Guards: Protect Yourself!

Let's be real, sports injuries happen.  They seem to be more common in contact sports like football and hockey, but can also occur during non-contact sports like gymnastics and skate boarding.  From a dental perspective, most dental injuries related to sports can be prevented by simply wearing a sports mouth guard.  This guard can protect the the teeth, gums, cheeks and lips.  They are strongly recommended for all athletes, but especially for athletes with braces.  Sports related mouth injuries are likely to be worse when braces are involved. 
There are 3 types of sports mouth guards you can purchase, stock, boil and bite, and custom fitted.  The stock type is bought ready to use.  It cannot be adjusted, and tends to feel bulky in the mouth.  This is not the best choice, but some protection is always better than none.  The boil and bite type is self explainatory.  You boil the guard in hot water to soften it, and bite into it while it is warm to form it around your teeth.  This can be complicated.  If directions are not followed exactly, it may not fit correctly.   The best type of mouth guard is a custom fitted guard.  These are made by your dentist.  Impressions are taken and mold of your mouth is made.  This is sent to the lab where your custom fitted mouth guard is fabricated.   They can add your favotie colors, your team logo, or your school mascot.  This will be a good fit, guaranteed. 
No matter what type of mouth guard you use, the most important thing is that it fits your mouth snugly to do its job and that job is... to protect your mouth and all its parts!