More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year from sports related injuries! Many of these injuries could have been easily prevented through the use of a custom athletic guard made by your dentist specifically for you. A mouthguard is a flexible platic that is worn during sporting activities to prevent injury to teeth and surrounding areas such as the gums, lips, and tongue. These appliances can also help to reduce the severity of concussions. Mouthguards should be used anytime there is a chance of your head hitting a hard surface.
Mouthguards can be divided into several categories:
1. Custom mouthguards: This type of mouthguard made by the dentist offers the best protection and fit. It is made specifically for your teeth and can be made with a thicker layer between the teeth to cushion the force from collisions.
2. Mouth formed guards: These type of mouthguards are purchased over the counter and mold to the patients teeth on the interior and have an acrylic liner on the exterior. These offer protection but can be bulky and loose fitting.
3. Stock mouthguards: This is the least expensive option. They are available in several sizes but cannot be modified so they often have a very poor fit.
Mouthguards should be cleaned with a brush and water after every use. Store them in a well ventilated area to avoid bacterial growth. Do not store in direct sunlight to avoid distortion and bring the guard along with you to each dental visit for evaluation by a professional. For more information on this and other dental related topics visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com