No one wants an injury to spoil the fun of a beloved sport! Get the most fun and safety out of practices and games by wearing a mouth guard, or equipping your sports-loving child with one. Using a good mouth guard to protect your teeth can make sports participation more enjoyable by preventing or mitigating mouth and tooth injuries. It’s a basic piece of equipment that is essential gear for any physical activity, from organized sports like football to activities and hobbies like skateboarding.
There are three basic types of sports mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom-fitted. Let’s look at each type:
- Stock – Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to wear, but they don’t fit very well, and a poorly fitted mouth guard is not as effective at protecting the teeth. They are also bulky, which, along with the poor fit, can greatly interfere breathing and talking.
- Boil and bite – ‘Boil and bite” mouth guards can be obtained at sporting goods stores and other retailers. They are submerged in very hot boiled water to soften the plastic, then bitten while soft, which then forms the plastic to the shape of the mouth and teeth. These offer a much better fit and better protection than stock mouth guards
- Custom-fitted – Custom-fitted mouth guards are made at the dentist office after taking impressions of the teeth. The dentist has the tools and equipment to fabricate a mouth guard that is smooth and sized with the most comfort and best protection in mind. They are more expensive than the other mouth guard options, but they offer the best fit and greater comfort and durability. You can also get them in custom colors and show team spirit while protecting your teeth!
Although injury can still occur even with a mouth guard, the added layer of protection is capable of shielding the teeth and surrounding tissue from the force of many types of collisions, falls, and accidents. Any mouth guard that fits properly can help protect your mouth. The custom fitted are ideal and the most highly recommended, but the boil and bite are a good option as well. While a stock mouth guard is preferable to no mouth guard at all, the other two are certainly better options.
If you have questions about mouth guards or want to know more about obtaining a custom-fitted one from Mall of Georgia Dentistry, give our office a call. We are always happy to help protect a smile!