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.
Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, are soft plastic or laminate oral appliances that 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 mouth guard 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. Other studies show that 75% of injuries of high school athletes occurred because mouth guards were not worn! 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.
Although you can purchase a pre-formed mouthguard or a “boil and bite” mouthguard, the best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist.
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 our office about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the best protection for you. Although mouth guards typically only cover the upper teeth, we may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.
Child or adult, a mouth guard is essential for all athletes. For more information about the right mouth guard for you, consult our office!