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Preventative Dentistry
 

 

Mouth Guards

 

Use a mouth guard during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. A properly fitted mouth guard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath.

 

Talk to your dentist about having a custom mouth guard made specifically for you. This will fit comfortably and offer the best protection for your smile.

 

Do I need a mouth protector?

 

Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. This includes a wide range of sports like football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball.

 

Mouth protectors, which typically cover the upper teeth, can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.

 

What are the advantages of using a mouth protector?

 

Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth protector can help cushion a blow to the face that otherwise might result in an injury to the mouth. A misdirected elbow in a one-on-one basketball game or a spill off a bicycle can leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss. A mouth protector can limit the risk of such injuries as well as protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.

 

A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.

 

Are there different types of mouth protectors?

 

There are three types of mouth protectors:

 

1.   Stock
Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often donít fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

2.   Boil and bite
Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. If you donít follow the directions carefully you can wind up with a poor-fitting mouth protector.

3.   Custom-fitted
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized they can offer a better fit than anything you can buy off the shelf.

 

I wear braces. Can I use a mouth protector?

 

A properly fitted mouth protector may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth protector also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.

 

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth protector that will provide the best protection. Although mouth protectors typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth protector on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.

 

If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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