If your child plays a contact sport like football, then they are probably accustomed to wearing a helmet, pads, and other protective gear. Often, though, a mouthguard is not considered a standard piece of equipment in every athlete’s arsenal, but here at Isla Dental we believe that it should be.
The Basics of Mouthguards for Sports
Different types of mouthguards are worn for many reasons, including to protect braces or help maintain tooth alignment, but there are also mouthguards created specifically to protect teeth during rough, high-contact sports. These athletic mouthguards also help keep your tongue, lips, cheek, and jaw safe from impacts and other injuries. More than a third of dental traumas are caused by sports accidents, so wearing a mouthguard can help prevent costly, time-consuming, and potentially even invasive treatments in the future.
Types of Mouthguards for Sports
You can get athletic mouthguards both at sporting goods stores and our offices, but there can be a big difference in the quality and efficacy of these guards. The most affordable mouthguards can be found at almost any sporting goods store because they are mass-produced to fit a wide range of different mouth sizes. This means that they do not fit your teeth very well, which not only reduces how well they can protect your mouth but can also be very uncomfortable and awkward. Mouth-formed guards are a step up from ready-made guards. More expensive, but also widely available, they are better because they actually mold to the unique contours of your mouth. Boiling water softens them before you place them in your mouth and they harden.
While the custom fit of mouth-formed guards offers superior protection, preparing the mouthguard can be time-consuming and annoying, and if the hardening process does not work then you will have to start all over. That is why we recommend a mouthguard that is designed from scratch for your mouth based on impressions that we take in our office. This is especially beneficial if you have orthodontics or a cleft palate, as the mouthguard can be designed to accommodate this.
The Benefits of a Mouthguard for Sports
Mouthguards can benefit athletes even if they do not play contact sports like football or hockey. In fact, the American Dental Association suggests that a wide range of athletes wear mouthguards, especially if their smiles are still growing and developing. If you or your child practice baseball, gymnastics, bicycling, wrestling, and many other popular sports, then you should strongly consider getting a mouthguard.
How Should You Care for Your Mouthguard?
It is important to take care of your mouthguard in between use, as even just routine wear-and-tear can reduce the guard’s ability to protect your teeth. This means disciplining yourself to not chew on the mouthguard, and being careful to brush it with toothpaste and rinse it after every use. Between practice and games, store the mouthguard in a container, ideally a perforated one to prevent trapped moisture from allowing bacteria to grow. We are happy to provide high-quality containers if needed.
Want to Get Your Athlete a Mouthguard?
If you want to make sure that your favorite athlete’s teeth are safe no matter what their sport of choice is, then you can call us at (469) 923-0448 to learn more about which athletic mouthguards Isla Dental recommends.