Do you play a contact sport? If so, we recommend you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums while you play. A mouth guard is an oral appliance that absorbs the shock of falling or getting hit in the face. Unlike a generic mouth guard you can buy at the store, an oral appliance from our dentist offers a superior level of comfort and protection.
Continue reading to learn 5 facts about your sports mouth guard you should know to maintain a healthy smile.
WHY SHOULD ATHLETES WEAR MOUTH GUARDS?
The American Dental Association recommends you wear a custom mouth guard while playing contact sports, such as football. However, our dentist may also recommend mouth guards for non-contact sports that increase your risk of oral injury. For example, figure skating increases your risk of a slip-and-fall accident.
SPORTS THAT USE MOUTH GUARDS INCLUDE:
- Martial arts
1.) MOUTH GUARDS PREVENT INJURY.
Every time you walk onto the football field or step into the boxing ring, you increase your risk for oral injury. If you play a contact sport, you’ll need to ask our dentist about.
A mouth guard is an oral appliance that fits over your upper teeth. Unlike the generic mouth guards you can get from the sporting goods store, a custom mouth guard made by our dentist offers a superior level of comfort and protection.
Our dentist will be able to create the football mouth guard reduces your risk of needing emergency dental care the next time you’re tackled on the field. Likewise, a can protect your smile if another player shoots out their arm to collect a rebound and hits you in the mouth.for your smile. For example, a
2.) A MOUTH GUARD COVERS AND PROTECTS TOP TEETH.
We understand that you don’t want to wear a bulky oral appliance during your next game. Thankfully, a mouth guard from our dentist is custom-fit so you can breathe easier and feel comfortable. Unless you have braces or another fixed orthodontic appliance, you’ll only need a mouth guard for your upper teeth.
3.) YOU’LL NEED TO CLEAN YOUR MOUTH GUARD.
Is your mouth guard giving you bad breath? If you don’t clean your mouth guard after every practice and game, you could be letting bacteria flourish. Bacteria and other microorganisms love to grow in dark moist environments—like in your sports mouth guard.
To clean your mouth guard, simply scrub it out with a toothbrush and rinse it under cold water. Make sure that you store your mouth guard in a dry ventilated container.
4.) YOU STILL NEED A MOUTH GUARD IF YOU HAVE BRACES.
Do you have braces? Even if you are in the middle of orthodontic treatment, you’ll need a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth while playing contact sports. Our dentist will recommend a mouth guard that covers your upper and lower teeth so your braces don’t snag on soft tissue on impact. After all the time it took to straighten your smile, the last thing you need is to knock out a tooth while playing contact sports.
5.) YOU SHOULD REPLACE YOUR MOUTH GUARD EVERY 6 MONTHS.
Your mouth guard won’t last forever. For the best protection, replace your sports mouth guard every 6 months or as needed. Once your mouth guard starts showing signs of wear and tear, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
CAN YOU USE A SPORTS MOUTH GUARD FOR TEETH GRINDING?
Do you grind your teeth at night due to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder? If so, you’ll need to get a special mouth guard for teeth grinding. A sports mouth guard is only meant to be worn for 1-2 hours while covering the teeth and gums. A night guard is meant to be worn all night and only covers the teeth, especially the biting surfaces.
While it may seem weird to think about, saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva washes away food particles and neutralizes plaque acids, which is why it’s not a good idea to keep your gums covered all night while you sleep. Covering your gums for 6 or more hours traps bacteria and increases your risk of gum disease.
A night guard is the best choice if you grind your teeth due to a TMJ disorder. Call our dentist today to get fitted for your new oral appliance.
REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT WITH US
Dr. Ryan Lebster is a dentist in Holland, MI, who also offers sports mouth guards. To request an appointment with RediDental Emergency Dental Care, call (616) 796-3200.
This blog post has been updated.