With the fall/winter season fast approaching so are winter sports like hockey. Mouth guards help minimize the risk of injury to the face, jaw, teeth and head during activities and contact sports. Mouth guards are recommended for anyone participating in aggressive activities or competing in sports. Mouth guards reduce trauma to teeth, gums, jaw bone, TMJ and number of head concussions.
If a protective mouth guard is not worn during these activities, you are putting yourself at a high risk for a dental injury including; cuts to the lips, gums, cheeks, and tongue as well as chipped or broken teeth, knocked out teeth and broken jaw. Mouth guards are flexible plastic appliance that fit over rge teeth.
Types of Mouth Guards:
Custom-fitted: are created from an impression of the person's gums and teeth. They provide the best protection due to their custom fit, comfort and cushioning effect. They are custom made by a dental professional.
Boil and Bite:can be purchased at sports stores and molded at home. The sports guard material is softened in boiling water and then formed directly on the upper teeth. They cost less than custom guards but do not fit well and provide limited protection.
Ready to Wear:these are also sold in sports stores. These mouth guards come pre-formed and are the least expensive type. They provide the least amount of fit and comfort.
Mouth guards should be cleaned after each use with a tooth brush to remove any bacteria and plaque then rinse under cold water and air to dry. Do not chew your mouth guard, as it can change the shape and will be less effective. Mouth guards become less effective over time. They should be replaced when they become loose, too thin or tear.