Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

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Mouthguards: an essential piece of athletic gear February 11, 2013

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:59 am

Did you know? Athletic mouth guards have been credited with preventing many sports injuries each year.

[S]tudies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

If you or one of your children participates in sports, a mouthguard is a must to protect your teeth from trauma:

Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Knowing how to prevent injuries like these is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.

There are three types of mouthguards:

Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, usually offer the best fit.

Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.

The best, of course, is the one that best fits and protects your mouth – usually the custom fit one.

Here are some tips for caring for your mouthguard:

– Always rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
– Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
– Transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents
– Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water
– Check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

A good mouthguard will heip protect your teeth and make your athletic experience much more enjoyable and safe.

If you have questions about mouthguards, please don’t hesitate to call. We’d be happy to discuss the options with you.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

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