Do you have a young athlete in the family dreaming of NCAA glory? Don’t forget this crucial piece of equipment to keep their teeth safe while they chase their hoop dreams.
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Mouth guards should be used by anyone—both children and adults—who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing one.
Why Use a Mouthguard When Playing Sports?
Since accidents can happen during any activity, a mouth guard can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. They also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.
Types of Mouthguards:
Stock mouth protectors are pre-formed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. This option is often just as bulky and uncomfortable as the stock mouthguards,
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. This type provides the most comfort and protection.