An athletic mouth guard (athletic mouth protector) is one of the most important pieces of sports equipment that you or your child will use. They protect the teeth, lips, tongue, and cheeks from injury. They also help prevent head, jaw and neck injuries. In the last few years, most sport organizations have made the wearing of a sports mouth guard or mouth protector mandatory.
Sports that require the use of a mouth guard include those that offer a risk of falling or of head contact with the equipment or bodies of other players. We usually think of team sports like hockey or football as being the most risky sports requiring these appliances but even sports such as skateboarding, gymnastics, basketball, and soccer present risks. The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.
There are different types of sports mouth guards available but the most comfortable and easily worn type is the custom mouth guard that you can have made at our dental office. It is not only more comfortable than the “do-it-yourself” types that you boil to soften and fit but it is also more effective. If your mouthguard is properly made on a mould custom of your own teeth, it can better cushion the impact of sudden contact with sports equipment or other players. Please ask us for the best type for you or your child.
At Orchard Maple Family Dental, we prepare custom athletic mouth guards for anyone involved in sports. Our mouth guards come in a variety of colors including clear. The fabrication of your mouth guard will consist of two short appointments. The first appointment will consist of us taking impressions of your teeth so we can create models to send to the dental lab to have your mouth guard fabricated. If the mouth guard is for a child, at this appointment we will also determine if they are a candidate for a custom made mouth guard or for a prefabricated one which can be purchased at an athletic store, based on the child’s age and if he/she still has adult teeth erupting. The second appointment will be the delivery of the mouth guard. At this appointment, we check the fit of the mouth guard to your teeth and make any necessary adjustments.
Yes. Since an injury to the face could damage braces or other fixed appliances, a properly fitted mouth guard may be particularly important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. Your dentist or orthodontist can determine the mouth guard that will provide the best protection for your unique mouth work. An important reminder: do not wear any orthodontic retainers or other removable appliance during any contact sports or during any recreational activities that put your mouth at risk for injury.