Mouthguards are a flexible appliance that is worn during sports and other recreational activities to protect the mouth, especially the teeth. Dentists agree that the use of a mouthguard is an important part of participation in sports and other activities.
Why Do You Need a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard can safeguard your mouth and teeth from serious injuries sustained during sports including jaw fractures, neck injuries, cerebral hemorrhage, and broken teeth. It does this by preventing situations in which the lower jaw jams up against the lower. They move the oral cavity’s soft tissue away from the teeth, which prevents injuries such as cuts and bruising of the cheeks and lips, especially for people who have orthodontic work in place. In the event of a concussion, they may be able to reduce the severity of the condition.
Which Sports Require a Mouthguard?
It is best to wear a mouthguard during any sport that includes contact with other players or with any type of hard surface. They should certainly be worn for sports like soccer, wrestling, rugby, lacrosse, softball, basketball, and in-line skating as well as martial arts, bicycling, and skateboarding.
Why Don’t Children Have Mouthguards?
The reason you often see children without a mouthguard is simply that their parents do not understand the risk for dental injury associated with their activities. Only some schools take the time to educate parents about the benefits of using a mouthguard. In other cases, the cost of the mouthguard may be an issue, although they can usually be found in any price range.
What Types of Mouthguards Are Available?
Stock Mouthguard: This ready-made mouthguard is generally the lowest cost option available. The fit adjustment is very limited, which makes it the least protective option as well. The jaw must be closed to hold it in place, so speaking and breathing may be difficult while it is in. It is not considered an acceptable facial protective device.
Mouth-Formed Mouthguard: There are two types of mouthguards that fall into this category. The shell-liner mouthguard is made from acrylic that forms a lining when it is poured into the outer shell. It molds to the athlete’s teeth and sets after being placed in the mouth. The other type is called a thermoplastic mouthguard, something called the “boil-and-bite” type. This mouthguard is softened in boiling water and then placed in the mouth to form the shape of the teeth.
Custom-Made Mouthguard: The best option for a mouthguard is one that is custom made by your dentist to fit your mouth. Because it is cast specifically to fit your mouth, it provides the best possible fit, comfort, and protection.
How Should You Maintain Your Mouthguard?
- Wash your mouthguard regularly with soap and cool (not hot!) water.
- Soak your mouthguard in mouthwash before placing it in its case.
- When you aren’t using it, keep your mouthguard in a plastic box with adequate ventilation. The box should have several holes to allow the mouthguard to dry.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in direct sunlight or in a closed car, since heat can damage it.
- Don’t store your mouthguard in a way that causes it to bend.
- Do not share your mouthguard or handle anyone else’s mouthguard.
- Call your dentist if you have any problems.
If you are looking for a Danvers, MA dentist to help you with a mouthguard or just need a dentist, consider Hallmark Dental. For more information about our dental services or to request an appointment, please contact us today!