If you play a contact sport like football or hockey, you’ll want to schedule a dentist appointment with Dr. Vlahos to be fitted for a custom mouth guard. Our sports dentistry professionals have put together this post to explain how mouth guards help prevent sports dental injuries and even concussions.
What sports should I wear mouth guards for?
Athletes who play contact sports require mouth guards to prevent knocked-out teeth, loose teeth, broken teeth, concussions and other traumatic dental injuries. It’s common for athletes playing contact sports like football, rugby, boxing, and hockey to wear mouth guards. However, our dental experts have found that other types of athletes involved in gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and basketball also benefit from custom mouth guards.
How does a mouth guard work?
An athletic mouthguard is worn over your upper teeth while playing contact sports. A mouth guard forms a protective layer between your teeth and the point of impact. That way, your tooth won’t be knocked out or chipped if you’re tackled on the football field or punched in the boxing ring. Your mouth guard should be durable enough to withstand concentrated force and it should be resistant to tears. You should also be able to breathe and talk comfortably while wearing your mouth guard. To experience optimal comfort and protection its important to have your mouth guard custom made to fit your teeth perfectly.
What are the different types of mouth guards?
There are three different types of mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom. The type of mouth guard you choose will determine how much protection your teeth will receive.
- Stock Mouth Guards
Stock mouth guards are inexpensive because they take the “one size fits all” approach to protecting your teeth and jaws. As a result, these mouthguards are uncomfortable and make it difficult for players to breathe or talk. We do not recommend wearing stock mouth guards because they don’t offer the level of protection your teeth need when playing contact sports.
- Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
Boil and bite mouth guards are only slightly better than stock mouth guards. Boil and bite mouth guards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens in boiling water so you can bite into them. The material is moulded to your teeth but isn’t as durable or comfortable as a custom-fit mouth guard, which can only be provided by a sports dentist.
- Custom Mouth Guards
Custom-made athletic mouth guards offer a superior level of protection unmatched by any mouth guard you could purchase at a local sporting goods store. During your appointment, Dr. Vlahos will take impressions of your teeth so your mouth guard will fit comfortably. The materials used for custom athletic mouth guards are durable, yet comfortable enough so you can breathe and talk with ease.
What type of mouth guard offers the best protection?
Custom mouth guards give you the most protection because they are specifically made to fit the unique shape of your upper teeth. While custom mouth guards are also the most expensive, they offer a superior level of protection for your smile that can’t be beaten by the generic stock or boil and bite mouth guards you find in sporting good stores. Also, keep in mind that the cost to restore a damaged tooth far exceeds the cost of a custom mouth guard.
If you have a child who wears braces or another fixed dental appliance, Dr. Vlahos will also create a mouth guard for your child’s lower teeth. Mouth guards for braces prevent injury from broken wires and brackets.
Dr. Vlahos Dentistry in St. Catharines works hard to prevent sports dental injuries in their patients. If you are interested in having an athletic mouth guard made for you or your child, schedule an appointment with one of our Sports Dentistry experts at (905) 937-4673.