Can Mouthguards Save Your Teeth?

Can Mouthguards Save Your Teeth?

Stating that mouthguards can save your teeth would be a misnomer because these are designed as protectors to cushion blows to the face to minimize the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. They can prevent you from losing teeth and hiding your smile and other activities. They are beneficial if you are involved in any type of contact sports or recreational activities.

Mouthguards are also known as mouth protectors and function to minimize the risks of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They generally cover the upper teeth and a fantastic way of protecting the soft tissues of your lips, tongue, and cheek lining. Experts have stated that the top teeth are susceptible to taking the brunt of any trauma because they are sticking out. The bottom teeth have some protection as they are further back in the mouth.

When Should You Consider Wearing a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear to protect your mouth and should be a part of your equipment at all times. Athletes can experience a dental injury in contact and non-contact sports such as boxing, skating, and gymnastics. If you are involved in any sporting activity you should be investing in a proper mouthguard to safeguard your facial structures.

Mouthguards You Can Consider for Yourselves

The best appliance for your mouth is one custom made by your dentist. The customized mouth guard will fit well and will not slip around like the varieties available from stores. If you cannot afford a customized mouth guard you can look for other options such as a stock mouthguard or a boil and bite mouthguard that will be available from drugstores and sports goods stores. More information about the different types is provided below:

Customized mouth guards are made by your dentist for you. This is the most expensive variety because they are individually developed for fit and comfort.

Boil and bite mouthguards can be purchased from any stores selling sports goods as well as drugstores. They offer a better fit than stock mouthguards. Before being used there must be softened in boiled water before being inserted into the mouth and allowed to adapt to the shape of the mouth. The instructions provided by the manufacturer must be followed stringently. It is suggested that boil and bite mouthguards that are acknowledged by the ADA Seal of acceptance should be chosen over many others that are also available.

Stock mouthguards are inexpensive and are ready to wear because they come pre-formed. Unfortunately, the fitting is nothing to speak about. These are bulky and can make the task of talking and breathing difficult.

What to Dentists Recommend about Mouthguards

Dentists working in general dentistry recommend that a customized mouth guard is specifically important for people with orthodontic braces or who have fixed bridgework. Blows to the face can damage the brackets of the braces and other orthodontic appliances. The mouthguard can also be a barrier between the braces and the cheeks of lips which helps to avoid injuries to the gums and cheeks.

When selecting a mouthguard it is important to discuss the product with your dentist or orthodontist to get the right type of protection. Even though some mouthguards only cover the upper teeth the dentist or orthodontist may suggest that an appliance should be used on the lower teeth if you are wearing braces on them. If you have any other removable appliance or retainer you should not be wearing them during contact sports.

Caring for and Replacing the Mouthguard

The dentist is the best person to advise when it is the right time to replace the mouthguard but individual discretion must be exercised if the mouthguard is showing signs of wear, is ill-fitting or damaged. Children and teenagers will be required to replace their mouthguards frequently because their mouths are growing and changing constantly.

Users are also advised to care for the mouthguard appropriately by following the tips mentioned below if they are using them:

Cleanliness is important for the mouthguard between games along with dryness. To ensure that the mouthguard is ready for use at any time users should be:

  • Rinsing the mouthguard before and after every use or brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Cleaning the mouthguard in cool and soapy water and rinsing it thoroughly is another habit that should be developed.
  • The mouthguard also needs to be checked by the dentist during regular cleanings and checkups because he or she may be able to give it a thorough cleaning.

Mouthguards can offer your teeth adequate protection from damages that may occur without warning. They should be part of your gear if you are involved in recreational activities or contact sports. However, it is suggested that customized mouth guards be chosen over other varieties because they can offer better protection than the others.

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