When playing sports or participating in any physical activity, it is important to do everything possible to protect yourself from injury. While helmets and protective gear are important, it is also important to protect your mouth and teeth while playing sports by wearing a mouth guard. According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries a year are prevented by wearing a mouth guard.
How do mouth guards work?
Mouth guards are coverings that fit over your teeth. They protect the teeth from grinding or smashing together during any impact to the face. They also protect the jaw from displacement and fractures which are serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
What are the different types of mouth guards?
The three most common types of mouth guards are:
- Stock Mouth Guards– These pre-formed mouth guards are inexpensive and sold at most sporting goods stores. They are NOT, however, recommended by the American Dental Association due to their bulky shape and inability to be customized to a secure fit. They offer little to no protection.
- Boil and Bite Mouth Guards– These are also easy to find and offer a little bit more protection than stock mouth guards due to the thermoplastic that allows them to be boiled in water and molded to the owner’s teeth. There a couple different boil and bite mouth guards that have earned the ADA’s seal of approval.
- Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards– The American Dental Association recommends using a custom-fitted mouth guard whenever possible. These are designed and made by your dentist by making a mold of your mouth and teeth. They are generally the most comfortable of the three types of mouth guards and offer the most protection.
If you are an athlete or a parent of an athlete, Dr. Zola Makrauer and Dr. Julie Miller of Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts can design a custom-fitting mouth guard to offer the most protection possible. Schedule your appointment today.