Protecting Teeth With Mouth Guards
Knowing how to prevent injuries is important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of an athlete’s standard equipment form an early age. In fact, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards help buffer an impact or blow that otherwise could cause broken teeth, jaw injuries, or cuts to the lip, tongue or face. Mouth guards also may reduce the rate and severity of concussions.
Mouth guards are used most commonly in contact sports, such as boxing, football, hockey, and lacrosse, but findings shows that even in non contact sports like basketball, gymnastics or skateboarding, mouth guards help prevent mouth and jaw injuries.
There are three types of mouth guards: the ready-made or stock, mouth guard; the mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” mouth guard; and the custom mouth guard made by a dentist.
Get the Most From a Mouth
To get the best service from a mouth guard, you should:
- Not wear removable appliances, such as retainers, with a mouth guard;
- Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard if you wear braces or have a protruding jaw, receding chin or cleft palate;
- Schedule regular dental checkups and visit your dentist before each playing season;
- Bring your mouth guard to each dental visit.
For more information, visit www.ada.org.