What are Sports Mouth Guards?

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What are Sports Mouth Guards?

Karate Kid holding mouth guard

Sports guards, also known as dental mouth guards and mouth protectors, are devices worn to protect teeth during sports activities. The device is typically worn on top of the upper teeth and can protect individuals from injuries such as broken teeth, cut lips, and other wounds to the mouth. Dental mouth guards are worn in sports such as hockey, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, mountain biking, and skateboarding, to name a few. They are worn by both children and adults, as sports injuries can happen at any age.

Why Is It Important to Use Sports Mouth Guards?

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, approximately 13-39% of all dental injuries are related to sports. And, in a study of high school athletes, it was found that 75% of all orofacial injuries occurred when individuals weren’t wearing a sports mouthguard. Athletes can seriously injure themselves while playing sports, and a mouth guard aids in minimizing this risk.

For children, dental mouth guards are especially important. Children’s dental health is still developing during their youth, and an injury can have permanent, serious consequences. Some examples include cuts on the lips that leave scars or broken adult teeth that need to be replaced.

Mouthguards have the added benefit of acting as a crash helmet and protecting the jawbone from fracture. Jawbone injuries can be very painful and expensive to fix.

Lastly, mouthguards guard the buccal cavity, which is made up of very soft tissue. The sports mouthguard is a barrier between the teeth, the tongue, and the cheeks. For children who wear braces, this barrier helps to prevent bruises and cuts to the mouth.

Sports Mouth Guards: The Simple Solution

It’s also important to remember that dental mouth guards are a cost-effective and easy solution. Sports mouth guards are affordable to purchase and are much cheaper compared to expensive dental surgeries to fix sports injuries. Additionally, the dental mouth guards aren’t high maintenance. Individuals simply need to wash their mouth guards after use and store them in a closed container.

How to Choose a Dental Mouth Guard

A dental mouth guard should fit comfortably. If it’s a distraction and uncomfortable to wear, it’s more likely you won’t wear it as often as you should. There are three types of sports mouth guards:

  • Stock Mouthguards: These are premade and come in different sizes. You purchase the size that fits closest to your teeth outline. However, these may not fit correctly and can slip from their place.

  • Mouth formed mouthguards: Known as “boil and bite” mouthguards, a thermoplastic mold is heated, and you bite into it, so it adheres to your exact teeth outline. While these are more “custom,” they can still be uncomfortable to wear and risk slippage.

  • Custom made mouthguards: A dental professional can make you a custom made mouthguard. While the most expensive option, it’s also the most comfortable and safe. This mouthguard will fit your teeth outline perfectly, making it convenient to wear and reducing any risk of it slipping out of place.

When choosing your dental mouth guard, consider the type of mouthguard you want, your price point, and the level of protection you need. Sports mouth guards start at a minimum of four millimeters of material around specific areas and can increase. Depending on the type of sports activity you’re participating in, you may need more coverage.

East Amherst Dental Center Offers Sports Mouth Guards

When it comes to your children’s or your dental health, you should never take any risks. Consult with a dental professional to see which type of sports mouth guard is best for your particular set of needs. East Amherst Dental Center specializes in offering sports mouth guards for both adults and children. The team of dental professionals is ready to meet any of our patient’s dental needs. Contact us today to book an appointment.