• Dr Sonal Naran

Why are sports mouthguards so important?


A mouth guard is a plastic device used in sports to prevent injury to your teeth, cheeks, lips, jaws and tongue. It is made to typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the hard and soft tissues intra-orally, by assisting in cushioning the impact to the face.


Who should use a mouthguard?

Children and adults should both use mouthguards. It is also advisable that a mouthguard is used during any sport – whether it is contact or non- contact.


When should a mouthguard be worn?

A mouthguard is vital and should be worn from an early age. It should be worn

during practices and games. There can also be injuries during practices, and thus it is crucial to be used both times. By wearing it during practices, it can also be more comfortable and the user can get use to it.


Type of mouthguards

The best mouthguards are ones fabricated by your dentist. The different mouthguards include:

1. Custom made – these are made especially for you, and can be made at a Dentist. Impressions are taken of your jaws, and the guard is made from this. These type of mouthguards have a best ft, comfort and tend to be the most protective.

2. Boil and bite – these are bought at sporting stores or pharmacies, and are first softened in water, and then inserted and adapted to your mouth. Although these mouthguards are adapted to your mouth, they do not offer the same custom fit or strength as the custom made guards.

3. Stock guards – these are prefabricated and do not mould or shape according to your teeth. They can be bought at stores. Unfortunately, these are fairly bulky, and do not offer a good fit or comfort.

Mouthguard care

It is essential to have your mouthguard replaced if there is any sign of wear, damage or is ill-fitting. Children and teenagers might require replacements more often because their mouths are still growing and changing

Tips:

  • Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

  • Regularly clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly afterwards

  • During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouthguard for an evaluation.

  • Store and transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents so it can dry and prevent bacteria from growing. 

  • Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.

  • Check the fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.

  • Store your mouthguard and case somewhere your pet cannot get to it to use as a chew toy.

Are you interested in getting a sports mouthguard? Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.


Images from

https://www.maxmouthguards.co.za

https://www.deardoctor.com/articles/athletic-mouthguards/index.php

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