What Is a Mouth Guard?
Sports injuries happen all the time. Whether you are an athlete or you simply enjoy a particular sport, you need to be aware that you can get hurt while playing.
Dental trauma is one of the most common types of injuries you can get while playing sports, especially those that require physical contact. You can, however, avoid sports-related dental trauma by wearing a mouth guard.
But what is a mouth guard? Mouth guards are dental appliances that are worn over the teeth to protect them. They are also known as sports guards or mouth protectors. They typically cover the upper teeth and prevent cut lips, broken teeth and other types of dental trauma.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three main types of mouth guards. These are:
- Custom-made. Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually made for each patient. As such, they are more expensive than the other types but they provide better protection, comfort and fit to the wearer.
- Boil and bite. These dental appliances are found at sporting goods stores and drugstores. They are made of a thermoplastic material and therefore are stronger and offer better protection. Before wearing this protector, it has to be placed in hot water to soften it. Afterward, the dentist will put the mouth guard in the patient’s mouth and shape it around the teeth.
- Stock protectors. This type of protector is pre-formed and ready to wear. They are the least expensive type of protectors. Although highly affordable, they often don’t fit well and they tend to be bulky and, as such, can sometimes making breathing and talking difficult.
Experts from a trusted dentist in Indianapolis recommend getting a custom-made protector if you need a mouth guard. This is because they provide the most comfortable fit and better protection. They also last longer, which means you don’t need to replace them often.
Care and Maintenance
Once you have a mouth guard, you can prolong its functionality and good quality (and protect your investment) by following these tips:
- Clean your protector before and after each use. Brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste or at the very least, rinse it with water.
- Give it a thorough cleaning often as well. Clean it using cool, soapy water. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly afterward.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.
- Always check the protector’s fit and be on the lookout for signs of wear and tear.
- Bring your mouthguard during scheduled checkups with your dentist. Your specialist will need to assess its quality from time to time and clean it thoroughly as well.
With a mouth guard, you can better concentrate on your game since you won’t have to worry about injuring your teeth and mouth. But to be sure you are fully protected from any kind of sports-related dental trauma, consult your dentist about choosing the best type of mouth protector first. Check out more fun topics on our blog.