Physical activity and sports are great. Many of us either play or have children who participate in some kind of sport. And that is great, but like with any physical activity, accidents can happen. Make sure you protect your mouth and teeth. Mouth guards are designed to protect your teeth and mouth from trauma and should be regarded as an essential piece of athletic equipment. Anyone that participates in any sport that involves body contact, falls or flying objects should wear a mouth guard. Dr. Boeriu and his team recommend them to those who play hockey, baseball, football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, and basketball and believe that in reality they should be worn when performing any activity that may result in an injury to the mouth (like mountain biking, skateboarding, martial arts, competitive skiing/snowboarding, or gymnastics).
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard, also referred to as a sports guard is a device worn over your teeth that is designed to protect them from trauma. They typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to prevent them from fractures (or even tooth loss) and your lips/tongue from cuts. There ate 3 basic types:
Custom- made sports guard
A custom-made mouth guard is exactly like it sounds. These are on the top of the list because they are made specifically for each individual. These are available through your dentist’s office and require having an impression (mould) of your teeth They can be fully customized and can be even worn with braces. This makes them the most comfortable and provides the best protection for your teeth.
Boil and bite sports guard
These are typically available through your pharmacy or sporting goods store. They are pre-formed plastic that can be heated up (placed into boiling water) and altered (by biting on it) to improve fit. However, it can be difficult to get a perfect fit and therefore decrease effectiveness or wear compliance.
A stock fit sports guard
Stock mouth guards come pre-formed and can not be customized at all. These are usually the most inexpensive option, but they often do not fit well and can be quite bulky. This can make it hard to speak and even breathe.
So how do I get a Mouth Guard?
As you can probably tell, we strongly recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard as it will give you the best comfort and wear compliance and therefore the best protection for your teeth. If you are looking for a custom-fitted sports guard all you have to do is give Dr. Boeriu’s office a call and we will take care of the rest.
The process is quite simple. It typically requires 2 short visits to our dental office. In the first appointment, we will take the impression/mould of your teeth and decide on the best mouth guard option for you. We can also customize the appearance of it as well (let you choose the colour and in some cases even add a special design). At the second visit, you pick up your custom mouth guard. This is when we assess the fit and provide you with detailed use/care instructions. Now you just have to make sure you wear it!
How do I take care of my Mouth Guard?
Taking care of your mouth guard is quite easy. Just follow these basic steps:
- Always store your sports guard in a firm perforated container.
- Clean your mouthguard after each use with cool soapy water. (DO NOT USE HOT WATER AS IT MAY DISTORT SHAPE/FIT)
- Store away from high temperatures or direct sunlight.
- Check your guard for signs of damage and ware- especially cracks /tears
- Have your dentist check it on a regular basis (just bring it with you for your regular examination/hygiene appointments.
- Keep away from pets (especially dogs). We know this may sound silly but we’ve heard of many mouthguards being used as chew toys by dogs.
Sports guards are designed to minimize the risk of sports-related injuries to your teeth and mouth. The health of your smile is always our priority. Play smart, play safe! Be sure to ask Dr. Boeriu and his team about the benefits of mouth guards at your next visit, or just contact us today.