Sports mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth and other tissues in your mouth and jaw from damage during physical activities. They are especially valuable in high contact sports and are favored by professional athletes. If you or your child is involved in athletic events, you may be wondering if you should invest in this dental appliance, and Weissman Dental is here to answer your questions.
Who Should Get a Mouthguard?
We recommend mouthguards for anyone who participates in athletics that involve physical contact or can involve injury to the face. This includes sports like football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, skateboarding, boxing, mountain biking, and gymnastics, just to name a few. A typical mouthguard will cover your upper teeth because they protrude more and are most likely to experience trauma. However, an athletic mouthguard also protects the jaw, lips, and tongue. Anyone can wear a mouthguard, but they are especially recommended for those with braces or other fixed dental appliances. In some cases, we may recommend a lower mouthguard if you or your child has these appliances, which can include bridges, crowns, or implants.
Types of Mouthguards for Sports
There are various kinds of mouthguards, with some being available over-the-counter and others being custom-made in our lab. There are pros and cons to each.
This type of mouthguard is created to fit your unique mouth configuration and your bite. Custom-made mouthguards are by far the most comfortable and offer the most effective protection. To make your personalized mouthguard, we will take an impression of your mouth to send to our lab, where technicians will use superheated plastic that is layered and molded to your precise specifications. Once it’s cooled, you or your child will have a durable and stable dental appliance. Professional athletes prefer custom-made mouthguards for their snug fit that ensures they will stay in even when they open their mouths.
A boil-and-bite mouthguard is a notch below a custom-made mouthguard in terms of quality, but is a step above stock mouthguards that are explained below. You can purchase this type of mouthguard at most sporting goods stores. While the fit is only semi-custom, a boil-and-bite mouthguard is lower in cost and offers quick, easy access over the counter. It comes pre-formed, and you simply boil it in water and bite into it while it’s warm to mold it to your teeth and bite. You can also make further alterations by cutting the device down if it’s too high up and aggravates your gums.
If you’re not too concerned about a perfect fit, a stock mouthguard might work great for you. It’s also a decent alternative while you’re waiting on a custom-made mouthguard. These also come pre-formed and are the least costly option. However, if you bite or clench extra hard with a stock mouthguard, you may break the plastic. Also, due to a less than perfect fit, they can make talking and breathing difficult. However, using a stock mouthguard is better than not having one at all.
Ask Us About a Custom-Made Mouthguard
Weissman Dental knows your particular dental situation, such as whether you have sensitive enamel or grind your teeth at night. It’s important to take such factors into account when choosing the best mouthguard for you or your child. For the best advice about which type of mouthguard you truly need, contact us at (503) 274-2222 to schedule a consultation.