Wearing a mouth guard during sport and leisure activities can help you to avoid dental injury and even concussion. A custom-fitted mouthguard offers you the best level of protection because it is created to fit the shape of your mouth and teeth. Let’s consider when and how to use a mouth guard for the best protection against dental injury.
Why You Should Be Using Mouthguards?
People under the age of 25 are at the greatest risk of dental injury during sport and recreational activities. Dental injuries are debilitating, and expensive to treat but they are avoidable if you wear a mouth guard correctly.
Patients who grind their teeth at night should also wear mouthguards to prevent damage to their teeth and jaws.
Patients who wear orthodontic braces should also wear mouthguards to protect their soft tissue from damage by their braces.
How Can Mouthguards Protect You During Sports Activities?
Players of contact sport should always wear mouth guards during practice and matches. They offer you a barrier of protection against
- Lacerations and cuts to lips and soft tissue
- Chipped teeth
- Broken teeth
- Broken jaws or damage to the jaw that can result in concussion
- Knocked-out teeth
How To Use A Mouth Guard Correctly?
While it is possible to purchase a mouthguard off the shelf or to purchase a boil and bite guard, custom-fitted mouth guards are the most effective at preventing dental injury. Because of their close fit, custom-fitted mouth guards offer more cushioning against impact to the head, jaw and mouth.
In order to protect you, your mouthguard should
- Be tight-fitting but comfortable so that it doesn’t slip or move around
- Allow you to breathe and swallow normally, without presenting an obstruction
- Allow you to speak clearly and audibly so that your match performance is not affected
- Not cause a gag reflex
- Smell and taste normal
- Have a minimum thickness of 4mm to offer optimal protection against impact.
How To Care For Your Mouthguard?
- Clean your mouthguard with soap and warm water and allow it to dry completely between uses
- Use an approved mouthwash to disinfect the mouthguard periodically
- Store mouth guards in a well-ventilated box
- Do not leave your mouth guard in direct sunlight as heat can cause damage
- Take your mouthguard to your dental checkups so your dentist can ensure it is still in optimal condition
- Replace your mouth guard every 12 to 18 months. Any growth in the jaw or emergence of new teeth will change the fit of a mouthguard. If you have lost any teeth, you will also need a new mouthguard to be fitted.
Play Safe Every Time
In order to be effective, a mouthguard needs to be worn every time you play or practice sport or engage in recreational activities. If it starts to feel uncomfortable, have it checked by your dentist as it may be damaged or may no longer fit you.
For a more personalised approach to how to use a mouth guard, please contact us for an appointment: