Dental injuries are a common outcome during sports. Such dental injuries mean unpleasant results regarding the oral health of a player. To avoid this, sports mouthguards were introduced. Fitted either through self-help or a dentist, sports mouthguards are essential equipment for athletes participating in some games.
Mouthguards provide excellent protection from dental injuries during body-contact sports like basketball, football, lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and non-body contact sports like ice-skating, gymnastics, or biking with high fall risks. Further details on the uses and benefits of mouthguards shall be covered by in this article.
Types Of Sports Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards used by athletes: custom-fitted, boil and bite, and stock mouthguards. Custom-fit mouthguards are modeled after the impressions of an individual’s mouth taken by our dentist. These are known to provide the best protection because they are made following each individual’s needs and comfort.
Boil and bite mouthguards are made up of thermoplastic material and can be shaped according to the user’s mouth in the comfort of their home. To shape these mouthguards, they are placed in hot but not boiling water for the material to soften. Once softened, you are to put it in your mouth and press it on your teeth and molars. When it feels like the mouthguard is positioned correctly, bite down on it for twenty seconds. Now remove the device and put it under running cold water for it to harden. These steps can also be repeated to re-shape the mouthguard.
Stock mouthguards are a one-size-fit and come as ready to wear. Since these mouthguards are not customized, their fit cannot be guaranteed. They can also be bulky and can make breathing difficult.
Benefits Of Sports Mouthguards
Sports mouthguards protect players from chipping their teeth or losing them to an injury. They also help avoid nerve damage and soft tissue damage to the gums, lips, and insides of an individual’s cheek and tongue. People with braces or dental implants can also wear mouthguards for additional protection. Custom-made mouthguards work best for them and can easily fit their braces and implants’ unique shape.
Caring For A Sports Mouthguard
Mouthguards can easily pick up germs or acquire damage, so it is vital to follow specific steps when caring for mouthguards. Avoid exposing them to direct heat such as that from the sun and hot water. Direct heat can damage them and cause them to change shape.
Store your mouthguard in a vented plastic container and out of the reach of children and pets when not in use. Rinse and clean your mouthguard using cold water and soap after every use and let it air dry.
Life Expectancy Of Mouthguards
By following proper care steps, a mouthguard can last for a few years. However, kids and teenagers may need replacements every few months as their mouths and teeth are still growing.
Their replacement also depends on how a person uses them. Some individuals may need replacement more often than others. It is best recommended to consult our dentist regarding the replacement of a mouthguard. For any queries, you can reach out to our experts on 737-273-3303 and can also visit Dr. Emily Zaramella, DDS.