Imagine what would happen if you lost several of your front teeth. Basic activities like smiling, eating, and talking would suddenly become seriously affected. If you are an avid sports participant or just generally athletic, it is especially important for you to know how to prevent face and mouth injuries. Mouth protectors called mouthguards are designed specifically to minimize the likelihood of a broken tooth, jaw, or injuries to the lips or mouth by cushioning a straight-on blow. Our mouthguards, available at Frank Dunlap, DDS are best for covering the upper teeth, as well as helping to protect the soft lip tissue, tongue and cheek lining.
The Best Time to Wear a Mouthguard
Mouthguards should be part of your standard protective equipment from an early age. When you take part in high impact sports, the chances are high of receiving damaged tooth roots, chipped teeth, fractured jaws or even concussions. According to the American Dental Association, wearing a mouthguard decreases the chance of mouth injury by as much as sixty percent. Some solo sports like snowboarding can cause the same level of injury by falling, while players in teams inevitably make contact with one another. Hard equipment like rackets and flying balls can also cause damaging dental injuries.
How a Mouthguard Works
Made of resilient material, a mouthguard helps by covering the upper teeth, protecting the gums, jaw and mouth at the same time. When a person is hit in the face with an object, their mouthguard is able to diffuse the immediate impact, decreasing the intensity of the energy, and no harm is brought to the teeth.
The custom-made mouthguard is the best option, as recommended by our dental experts. However, if this is outside your budget, you should consider getting a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard.
The custom-made mouthguards are made through teeth impressions. Due to the extra resources and time investment needed to design them, custom-made guards are pricier than the other types. Nevertheless, custom-made mouthguards are the most comfortable ones and get the job done.
The boil and bite mouthguards are placed in boiling water until they soften. Once cool enough to handle, they are then carefully inserted into your mouth; with gentle pressure, the mouthguard will form to the shape of your mouth. Stock mouthguards are inexpensive and come ready to wear. However, they are bulky and often make breathing difficult.
Care and Replacement
Make sure to talk to us when it is time for mouthguard replacement. Teenagers and children might need to get mouthguards replaced more frequently since their mouths are prone to change. It is best to keep your mouthguard dry and clean in between uses. During regular dental check-ups, do not forget to bring your mouthguards for evaluation. Our dentist will clean them up for you. Some mouthguards have also been damaged by family pets that see them as chewy playthings. Make sure to store your mouthguards and case in a hard-to-find location, far away from your pet friend’s reach. In case you have further questions regarding mouthguards, you can visit our office, Frank Dunlap, DDS, or call us on our number (346) 576-4411 to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.