Mouth Guards Recommended for Most Sports
You might think that mouth guards are only necessary for contact sports. However, many dental injuries occur in sports where you might not think dental injuries are a risk, such as basketball or bicycling. Therefore, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends mouth guards for most sports, even if you’re only playing at a recreational level.
Protect Your Teeth and More
Most people think mouth guards are for protecting your teeth. They are, but they also do more, they protect against many types of moth injuries, including:
- Broken teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Dislocated jaw
- Broken jaw
- Cut lips
- Cut tongue
Mouth guards absorb the energy from a blow to the mouth. This energy would normally be forced into the teeth, or force the teeth into each other. By cushioning this energy, it keeps it from cracking teeth and bones. It also stops the energy from traveling through your body.
However, evidence doesn’t support that mouth guards protect from concussions.
Benefits of Professional Mouth Guards
There are three types of mouth guards commonly used today: stock, boil-and-bite, and professional custom. Compared to the other types, these professional custom-made offer:
- Better protection
- Better comfort
- Minimal interference
- High durability
Stock mouth guards are purchased off the shelf and used as-is. These mouthguards are inexpensive, but they don’t offer much protection. In some cases, they can actually make dental injuries worse because of their poor fit. In addition, this type of mouth guard can interfere with breathing and put your jaw in an unhealthy position.
Boil-and-bite are made of a soft thermoplastic that becomes malleable when heated. After dipping the mouth guard in boiling water, you bite into it, causing it to form around your teeth. Although this can help the mouth guard fit your teeth, it is easy to do this improperly, leaving some teeth protected or minimally protected. Often, the material between the teeth is very thin, and it doesn’t take much to drive teeth through the mouthgua