Protecting Your Smile With a Mouthguard
Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential when you have braces. Mouthguards are removable dental appliances that help protect your teeth, dental arches, lips and gums from injury. They are made of soft plastic or laminate and are molded and customized to fit over your teeth. No matter what action sports you participate in, it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that you wear a mouthguard.
The American Dental Association projects that one third of all dental injuries are sports related, so the importance of a mouthguard is great. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year.
Various types of dental injuries can happen if one is not wearing a mouthguard. Some include but are not limited to: broken teeth, cheek injuries, concussions, fractured jaws and even loss of teeth.
Child or adult, a mouth guard is essential for all athletes. For more information about the right mouth guard for you, consult your dental professional.
Mouthguards and Braces
A properly fitted mouthguard is especially important for people who wear braces . A blow to the face while playing sports could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.
Dr. Baby and Dr. Rojas, the Official Orthodontist of the London Knights, recommend a simple warm and bite mouth guard for anyone in braces. These mouth guards can be purchased at any sports store as well as your local Wal-Mart, and are relatively inexpensive. Once braces come off, and your new smile is revealed, you can continue to use boil and bite mouth guards or you can have one customized to your mouth.
So please remember, if you are involved in football, soccer, boxing, field hockey, karate, ice hockey, basketball or other action sports, we recommend that you to protect yourself with a mouth guard.
Dr. Baby and Dr. Rojas are now the Official Orthodontists of The London Knights and we know they will be protecting their smiles and reducing their risk of concussions with mouth guards…so you should too!
Mouthguard Quick Facts
Mouthguards should have a comfortable tight fit.
Mouthguards allow for normal breathing and swallowing.
Mouthguards have been shown to reduce the intensity and number of head concussions.
Mouthguard come in all colors of the rainbow! Even your favourite Knights green!
Mouthguards come in three different types to fit your needs:
- Custom fit (made by a dental professional)
- Boil and bite mouthguards (purchased at pharmacies or sport stores)
- Stock or ready-to-wear mouthguards
The estimated cost to treat a lost front tooth (over a lifetime) can range from $5,000-$10,000. The average cost of a custom fitted sports mouthguard can be as low as $100 or less.
I have a mouthguard, now what? How to take care of your mouthguard:
Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces. Boil and bite mouthguards are ideal.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard. Mouthguards come in different shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape!