Play contact sports? Dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury in sports. Don’t forget to add a mouthguard to your uniform. Protecting your smile is as easy as styling a mouthguard on the field, court or rink.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a flexible piece of plastic or rubber that fits into your mouth and covers your teeth, protecting your mouth against injury during contact sports. It should be durable, fit properly, not restrict breathing or speech and be easy to clean.
Types of mouthguards include:
- Stock: These are inexpensive and come ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well and can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
- Boil and bite: These mouth guards can be found at sporting goods stores and drugstores and may fit better than stock mouthguards. To use them, you soften them in water (boiled) and then put it in your mouth so it molds to the shape of your mouth.
- Custom-made: These are made by your dentist to fit your mouth. They tend to be thinner and more comfortable, but also more expensive because they are individually created.
- The best mouthguard is whichever one that you will wear regularly both at practice, games or just playing around.
Ahead of the game and already have your mouthguard? Here’s how to take care of it and keep it clean.
- Rinse before and after each use
- Clean it in soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Bring it with you to dentist visits so your dentist can evaluate it
- Store your mouthguard in a container with vents
- Don’t leave it in the heat