Engaging in sports brings fun and health benefits but can pose risks to your teeth, especially with braces. Fortunately, mouthguards serve as a shield against potential dental injuries.
When to Wear a Mouthguard:
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, if you’re involved in contact sports like basketball, football, hockey, martial arts, and more, it’s crucial to wear a mouthguard.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard:
- Pre-made Mouthguards: Readily available at sports stores, they come in standard sizes.
- “Boil-and-Bite” Mouthguards: Purchased at sports stores, they’re molded to your teeth by boiling them in water and then biting into them.
- Custom-made Mouthguards: Crafted by your orthodontist, these offer the best fit and protection.
Ensure your chosen mouthguard is durable, fits snugly, remains easy to clean, and doesn’t hinder breathing.
For those with braces or retainers: It’s vital to wear mouthguards during contact sports. Your orthodontist can guide you in selecting and using the right one.
- Clean with a toothbrush and toothpaste after every use.
- Use a protective case for storage.
- Avoid exposing it to extreme heat to prevent deformation.
- Regularly inspect for wear and tear, and replace when necessary.
- Do not wear it with a retainer. If you have braces, consult your dentist for a compatible mouthguard.
- Refrain from chewing it or modifying its original shape.
- During dental visits, take it along for a professional assessment.
A split-second incident in sports can cause lasting damage to your teeth. Arm yourself with the right mouthguard to keep your smile intact and safe on the field. Always remember: Team safety first!