If you are an athlete, you may wear a mouthguard because it is required by your team or organization. If you don’t have to wear a mouthguard, you still should; in fact, everyone should wear a mouthguard while participating in sports or physical exercise. Mouthguards protect your teeth, mouth and face from serious injury. Statistics show that mouthguards prevent 20,000 sports injuries a year.
When you are participating in physical activity, your face is at extreme risk. Helmets protect your head, but your teeth and mouth are vulnerable if you are not wearing a mouthguard. The use of mouthguards prevents injuries that can be painful, expensive to treat or disfiguring. Dentists and oral surgeons routinely perform procedures to repair damage to the teeth, mouth and jaws of athletes. In sports dentistry, the focus of public awareness is on prevention, so that athletes can avoid costly dental work and painful injuries.
There are several different types of mouthguards available. You can purchase a standard type in stores that are designed to fit average mouths. These are often not comfortable and do not fit well, and a mouthguard that does not fit well does not provide proper protection against injuries.
“Boil and bite” mouthguards are supposed to fit you correctly after you customize them to your mouth by heating them in boiling water and then biting into them to make them fit around your teeth. This type of mouthguard may fit better than a standard type, but the best fitting and most protective mouthguard you can get comes from a dentist. A mouthguard that is custom fit to you by a dentist will fit perfectly and provide the best protection from injury during participation in athletic activities.
When you own a mouthguard, it is important to clean it regularly and store it in a protective case when you’re not wearing it. When a mouthguard gets damaged or torn, it offers less protection and can even hurt your mouth. Cheaper mouthguards are more susceptible to damage and may need to be replaced frequently.