The American Association of Orthodontists found that 84% of children do not wear mouth guards while playing organized sports because they are not required to wear them, even though they may be required to wear other protective materials, such as helmets and shoulder pads. Mouth guards can be one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Not only do mouth guards save teeth, they help protect jaws. Children wearing braces have slightly higher risk of oral injuries, including mouth lacerations, if their braces are hit by a ball or another player. In fact, just by wearing a properly fitted mouth guard, many accidents and traumatic injuries could be prevented. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.
Who Needs a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards should be used by anyone — both children and adults — who play contact sports such as football, baseball, wrestling, volleyball, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard.
Choosing a Mouth Guard
While custom mouth guards, considered by many to be the most protective option, other mouth guards can be effective if they fit well, are worn properly and stay in place. The primary mouth guard types include:
- Custom-fitted regular or orthodontic mouth guard made by Cera-Tech Dental Lab
- Shock Doctor Braces Mouth Guard
- Under Armor Mouth Guard custom mouthgurads available only at select Dental offices
- DO NOT use a boil n bite mouth guard if you wear braces! The boil n bite mouth guards will get stuck on your braces and pull the braces off your teeth when you remove the mouth guard!
Athletic mouth guards provide protection, but vary in comfort and cost. The most effective mouth guard should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean, and not restrict your speech or breathing. Generally, a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth, but in some cases the orthodontist will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Patients can seek the assistance of an orthodontist to ensure proper mouth guard thickness and adequate protection in critical areas, based on the sporting activity.
Like any other sports gear, a mouth guard will wear out, making it less effective. If your mouth guard has holes or tears, or if it becomes loose, it can irritate the teeth and oral tissues. Occasionally check the mouth guard’s condition and replace it as necessary.
Fitting Your Customized Mouthguard
Getting a customized Mouthguard is both quick and easy, and can be done in conjunction with a scheduled visit to the Cera-Tech Dental lab. We’ll make an impression of your teeth (top only). After getting your impression finished, we’ll call you when your Customized Mouthguard is ready for you to pick up—usually the same day or the next day from when the impresion was taken.
Customization and Care
Have a favorite sports team, or want to honor your own team? Our mouthguards can be customized with many different colors and patterns. And our mouthguards are as tough as you are—for most folks, one mouthguard will last an entire season, assuming you don’t chew on it or have some sort of drastic changes to your teeth or jaw in the interim.
Cleaning your customized mouthguard is easy and can be done with the same products you use to clean your teeth. Ask our staff for additional information about the best way to keep your customized mouthguard clean.