At Marler Campbell Dental, we understand the importance of athletic mouthguard. Contact sports such as football and soccer can put patients in danger of injuring their teeth. Many patients lose or break their teeth during a contact sport because they are not wearing athletic mouthguards.
What is an Athletic Mouthguard?
Athletic mouthguards are made at your dentist’s office and are worn during contact sports or other activities that have the potential of injuring your teeth. Non-contact sports such as gymnastics and skateboarding can cause oral damage, and patients should wear mouthguards during these sports.
What Type of Mouthguard Should my Child use?
There are several different types of mouthguards, but at Marler Campbell Dental, we recommend that you purchase a custom-made mouthguard for your child. Over-the-counter mouthguards include boil and bite mouthguards and stock mouthguards. Although stock mouthguards are typically the most affordable option, they often do not fit well and cause difficulty breathing. Boil and bite mouthguards often work better than stock mouthguards, but they are not as customizable as custom mouthguards from your dentist. For custom mouthguards, your dentist, Dr. Marler or Dr. Campbell, will make an impression of your teeth and then send it to a lab where they will make the mouthguard. Not only are custom-made mouthguards more comfortable, but they also do a better job of protecting your teeth from injury.
Why are Stock Mouthguards not suitable for Long-term Use?
We never recommend boil and bite or stock mouthguards; however, we do not recommend them for extended periods. They are usually a tight or loose fit, but they are also uncomfortable. Stock mouthguards do not provide enough protection from oral injuries and should not be used to replace custom-made mouthguards.
Who Should Get Athletic Mouthguards?
At Marler Campbell Dental, we recommend that patients who play contact sports and non-contact sports with the potential to damage their oral health should wear a mouthguard. However, we highly recommend wearing a mouthguard during sports for patients who have braces because of the increased risk of injury. Most patients wear only a top mouthguard except those who have braces or play specialized sports like boxing.
How Should I Care for My Mouthguard?
It is essential to properly care for your mouthguard to last and not introduce excess bacteria into your mouth. The recommended lifespan for a mouthguard is six months. We also recommend that patients clean their mouthguard with a wet toothbrush after every use. You can also extend the lifespan of your mouthguard by placing it in a ventilated container, such as a mouthguard case, when you are not using it. Patients should also avoid biting on the mouthguard to prevent damage.
What Happens if I Don’t Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?
Although we recommend that patients wear an athletic mouthguard while playing sports, some patients do not. When you do not wear an athletic mouthguard during a sport, you are at high risk of an oral injury. Injuries can range from a knocked-out tooth, a broken tooth, or damage to the soft structures of your mouth. Our office does offer emergency dentistry if you do have a dental emergency. However, we prefer to minimize dental emergencies with appliances such as mouthguards.
Contact and non-contact sports can cause dental injury. If your child participates in a contact sport such as football or soccer, or a non-contact sport such as gymnastics, you should consider a custom-made mouthguard. Although more affordable over-the-counter solutions are on the market, our office only recommends custom-made mouthguards. They are more comfortable, but they also provide your child with more protection. For more information about athletic mouthguards or to schedule an appointment, call our office today.