Mouthguards Reading, MA
Imagine how difficult it would be if you lost a few of your front teeth. Everything would be affected — from the way you talk, smile, and eat to the way you look and feel. Understanding how to prevent unexpected injuries to your face and mouth is even more important if you participate in recreational activities or sports that are fast-moving or could predispose you to facial impact.
That’s where mouthguards come into play.
Also called mouth protectors, mouthguards can help protect your face from sudden impact to minimize injury to lips, face, tongue, and teeth. Mouthguards usually cover the upper teeth, since they stick out further than the lower teeth, taking the brunt of trauma.
When Do You Need a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is essential any time you are playing sports or participating in a recreational activity in which you may receive a traumatic injury such as skiing, gymnastics, rock climbing, and others. Even though high-contact sports offer more risk and typically require the wearing of mouthguards — think boxing, football, and the like — even low- or no-contact sports such as skating or sledding can put you at risk for a dental injury.
That means you should wear a mouthguard any time you are participating in athletics — whether they require it or not.
Types of Mouthguards
If you have braces or bridge work, you need a mouthguard to protect you from a blow to the face that could damage your brackets or expensive dental appliances. The mouthguard will also act as a barrier between your braces and the soft parts of your mouth and face like your cheeks and lips to help avoid injury to these soft tissues.
There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your orthodontist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable, well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
Pre-made mouthguards and boil-and-bite mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, while custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by your orthodontist to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries.
Your orthodontist can help you select a mouthguard that provides the right protection for your teeth and dental situation. If you have braces on your lower teeth, your orthodontist might suggest wearing a lower mouthguard to protect this area.
NOTE: A retainer or other removable appliance is NOT a substitute for a mouthguard for sports.
Once you have your mouthguard, you’ll want to take good care of it so it can last longer between replacement times. These simple strategies can help your mouthguard stay clean and operable longer:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard. Mouthguards come in different shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it's still in good shape!
Once your mouthguard shows signs of wear, it is time to replace it. Growing children might have to replace their mouthguards more often as their teeth and mouths grow and change.
Need a Mouthguard?
If you think you need a mouthguard to protect your face — and teeth — from sudden impact, we are here to help. We can provide custom-made mouthguards for optimal protection against mouth injuries — simply contact our office and make an appointment today.