Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected.
Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Knowing how to prevent injuries like these is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.
While there are stock mouthguards and "boil & bite" guards on the market, the best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by an experienced dentist, like West Hartford dentist, Dr. Elzbieta Basil. A properly fitted mouthguard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.
Talk to Dr. Basil about a mouthguard that will provide the best protection. Although mouthguards typically only cover the upper teeth, Dr. Basil may suggest that you use a mouthguard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.
If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.
Some tips for caring for your mouthguard:
rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents
never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water
check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing