The exhilaration you feel when playing sports can quickly disappear if you take an unexpected blow to the mouth. Accidents can happen to anyone playing contact and some non-contact sports, but a little bit of prevention can go a long way. Getting a well-fitting mouth guard can help reduce the risk of dental injuries in Newcastle, potentially preventing anxiety, pain and years of restorative dental treatment.
Sports mouth guards are not a new invention as they were originally worn by boxers back in the 1920s. Since then, their efficacy has been substantially assessed and reviewed, and sports mouth guards are best worn where there is any risk of injury to the teeth, mouth or face. While it’s uncertain if a mouth guard can offer protection against concussion, they definitely work in minimizing the risk of other injuries, but not all are created equal.
Making Sure You Get a Good Mouth Guard
There is quite a range of mouth guards available, including many over-the-counter designs. The cheapest is a stock mouthguard that may come in several sizes but cannot be adapted in any way. These mouth guards offer minimal protection at best, and because they cannot be customized, they can be very uncomfortable to wear or may fall out during use.
Boil and bite mouth guards cost a bit more but can be adapted to fit around teeth slightly. They are made from a mouldable material that softens when placed in hot water. The mouth guard is then inserted into the mouth, and the user tries to adapt it around their teeth and gums the best they can. These mouth guards often will not cover all the back teeth adequately and are uncomfortable to use.
A custom-made mouth guard has been shown to offer the best level of protection. Here at West Bowmanville Family Dental, our dentist can provide a custom-designed mouth guard in Clarington, which considers your individual needs. We especially recommend mouth guards for children and adolescents so that they can enjoy sports more safely.
How Is a Custom-Designed Mouth Guard Made?
A custom-designed mouthguard is made using a precise model of your teeth or your child’s teeth. To do this, we take a digital impression of your teeth and create models on which the mouth guard is fabricated. We use high-quality and resilient materials that are comfortable, odour free and taste-free. The mouth guard is designed not to feel bulky and has excellent retention, with enough thickness in critical areas to protect your teeth and jaws more effectively. It will cover all the back teeth comfortably and is adapted properly around the gums. Because these mouth guards feel comfortable to wear, it’s far more likely they will actually be used!
Caring for a Mouth Guard
It is essential to care for your mouth guard correctly, just like any dental appliance. Ensure you rinse it thoroughly before and after each use, and you can clean it with cold, soapy water or a little mouthwash. The mouth guard should be stored in a solid container with vents to keep it fresh and be sure not to leave it out in the sun or place it in hot water as this could distort it. Our Courtice dentist can check the mouth guard for signs of wear during your checkups, so it can be replaced when needed. A child’s mouth guard may need replacing more frequently as their teeth and jaws develop. Still, preventive dentistry is always far preferable, far less more traumatic and more cost-effective than having to deal with the aftermath of a dental injury.