Those who have an active lifestyle or participate in sports understand how important it is to protect your teeth. One wrong move or small mishap can result in a broken smile that you would have to suffer from for a long time.
If you do contact sports, make it a priority to always safeguard your mouth. The best way to do this is by wearing a mouthguard. These helpful accessories minimize the blow with their soft gel-like design. They are more commonly used on the upper set of teeth, which is a lot more at risk of getting broken than the bottom teeth.
Educating yourself about how mouthguards work will help you avoid injuries and may even improve your game.
While there are several types of mouthguards, they all have a similar purpose – to keep your teeth and mouth protected. Here are your options:
- Stock – The stock types are the most affordable and they come ready to wear. However, because they are pre-formed, the fit won’t be that comfortable and you may have some difficulty in talking and breathing.
- Boil and Bite – Popular among sports enthusiasts, this offers a better fit, which you can adjust yourself. Unlike stocks, this type is softened in hot water and placed inside the mouth to get a custom fit. They are more comfortable and durable than the standard pre-formed stock mouthguards.
- Custom-made – Among all the others, this provides the best protection and the most comfortable fit but they are also more expensive. Custom-made protectors are crafted by dentists individually for each patient.
Can I wear a mouthguard if I have braces?
Yes, you can still wear a mouthguard while you are on corrective braces or have bridge work. However, you might need to get the custom-made type to ensure you get the right protection for your mouth. Depending on your needs, your dentist may require you to wear a full set which covers both the upper and lower teeth.
How to properly care for a mouthguard
The lifespan of your mouthguard will depend on how often you use them. Those who are more active may need to have it replaced every couple of months. Growing kids and teens will also have to keep changing their pieces as their mouths are still developing.
Maintenance and Care
- Clean your mouth protector regularly using cool water and make sure to rinse thoroughly.
- Brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste before and after each use.
- Store it in a secured container when not in use.
- Keep your mouthguard away from the sun or any direct heat, especially if you have the ‘Boil & Bit’ type.
- When you are not using the piece, ensure that it is kept clean and dry to avoid bacteria and mold.
- Keep them away from pets, who may mistake them as chew toys because of their rubbery texture.
- Regularly check for signs of wearing and tearing.
- Bring your mouthguard to your dentist with you and have it evaluated if necessary.