When Should I Wear A Mouthguard?

Posted by Ousama El-Hillal | June 1, 2015

Imagine how it would impact your life if all of a sudden, a fall or a sports accident left you without your front teeth? Not only would you be left with a gaping hole in your mouth, talking, eating, smiling, even socializing would abruptly be affected. You can avoid this situation by wearing a mouthguard whenever you’re taking part in an activity that presents risks of head contact with sports equipment or other players in activities that include hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, football and gymnastics.

Mouthguards don’t just protect the teeth, lips, tongue, the inner lining of the cheeks, they also help protect athletes of all levels from head and neck injuries, including jaw fractures and concussions. Today, it’s becoming quite common for organized sports to require mouthguards to prevent injuries. Hands down, when it comes to protecting your mouth during any sports activity, a mouthguard is an important piece of athletic gear that should definitely be part of your sports gear from an early age.

Mouthguards Options Include the Following:

“Out of the Box”, Stock Mouthguards
This mouthguard “ready to wear”, pre-formed option, while inexpensive, is typically cumbersome and doesnít fit very well. This version can also make it difficult to talk and even breathe.

Boil and Bite Mouthguards
These can be purchased at drugstores and just about any sporting goods store and in some cases offers a better fit than stock mouthguards. You basically boil them to soften them up, then insert it in your mouth, giving it time to conform to the shape.

Custom Fitted Mouthguards
These are produced by your dentist to custom fit your mouth. While they may be more expensive than other types, because they’re precisely customized, they’ll offer the ideal fit.

Custom Mouthguards and Braces
One of the biggest misguided beliefs concerning using a mouthguard for braces is the concern that it might press too snugly against the braces, affecting the orthodontia work by restricting the available room for tooth movement and growth. This comes down to the way the mouthguard is designed. Since custom mouthguards are designed to fit each playerís precise mouth structure, they also have the ability to fit flawlessly over braces, without hindering tooth growth and alignment. A professionally engineered, custom mouthguard makes it possible for dentist’s to adjust the brackets if necessary and can even be refit without compromising anything. One thing to keep in mind with mouthguards however, is that if you wear a retainer or other removable appliance, don’t wear it during contact sports. While mouthguards typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist/orthodontist might recommend using a mouthguard on your lower teeth as well if you have braces there too.

Even if you feel you can’t afford custom fitted mouthguards, you should still consider one of the other versions. The inconvenience, along with the doctor or hospital bills you’ll encounter, far outweigh the cost of mouthguards, even the custom fitted option crafted by a dental professional when you think about it.

Ousama El-Hillal
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics, Your Chandler Orthodontist with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.

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