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Mouthguards

Do you play a team sport or enjoy high-impact recreational activities? Make sure you protect one of your best assets your smile! Invest in a high-quality mouthguard to minimize injuries to your mouth and teeth.

Made of flexible material, a mouthguard protects your teeth and mouth when playing sports. There are many types of protectors available, but they don’t all offer the same level of protection.

Protecting your teeth is important!

Keeping your teeth and mouth injury-free is just as important as good oral health. Along with regular check-ups and cleanings, a mouthguard can help you maintain a great-looking smile.

A mouthguard protects more than just your teeth. It protects your jaw, temporomandibular joints, tongue and the soft tissues in your mouth. Using a mouthguard won’t prevent 100% of all injuries, but it can certainly help reduce their occurrence and severity.

Because most mouth injuries happen to youngsters, Health Canada1 recommends the use of mouthguards when boxing or playing football, hockey or rugby. A mouthguard should also be considered for basketball, soccer, skiing, inline staking and mountain biking.

Some stats:

  • Between 13% and 39% of injuries to teeth occur when practicing a sport
  • According to the Quebec Order of Dentists (ODQ), approximately 200,000 serious accidents could be prevented annually with mouthguards
  • Every year in the United States, approximately 400,000 youngsters suffer concussions
  • According to the National Youth Safety Foundation, 3 million teeth are lost each year while practicing sports in the United States
  • According to the American Association of Orthodontists, over 67% of parents don’t encourage their children to wear a mouthguard when practicing high-impact sports

Types of mouthguards

Stock mouthguards:

This type of mouthguard is a low-cost option that’s available in pharmacies and sporting goods stores. However, stock mouthguards aren’t adapted to your teeth and offer very little protection. In fact, the injury rate while wearing a stock mouthguard device is just as high as not wearing any. And, this device makes it difficult to breathe and speak properly.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards:

This type of protector adapts better to your teeth than a stock mouthguard, but still doesn’t offer maximum protection. You must place it in boiling water to soften it and then bite into it so that it takes the shape of your teeth. However, it is not very stable as the thickness of the material varies.

Custom-made mouthguards:

This type of device is your best option for practicing sports. Even though custom mouthguards are more expensive, they fit your teeth much better. Since your dentist uses impressions of your teeth to make your custom device, it will be significantly more comfortable and stable, while offering additional protection in some areas.

You can also choose the colour of your mouthguard or even add a logo. It can be adjusted to your orthodontic devices and it won’t impact breathing or speaking.

Important

Custom-made mouthguards are very easy to maintain. Simply rinse with cold water or mouthwash before and after each use, and air dry. Avoid exposing the device to hot temperatures and have it checked by your dentist during your regular check-ups.

Ask your dentist today about a custom-made mouthguard. And, if you sustain an injury to your mouth, see your dentist right away. By taking action quickly, you can avoid major consequences to your dental health and your smile!

Health Canada, revision date: 2016-12-16; https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/lifestyles/athletic-mouthguards.html