Dental Care

What are Mouth Guards For? – Protecting Your Teeth

What are mouth guards for? Imagine that you receive a hit and suddenly lose all your front teeth. This would instantly modify the way you laugh, talk and eat. If you take part in any sports activities, it’s especially important that you protect your mouth and teeth.

What are Mouth Guards For?

Mouth guards are for cushioning blows to the mouth, these serve to minimize the risk of broken teeth and wounds on the lips, tongue, face, and jaw. Normally, they only protect the upper teeth and are an excellent way to protect soft tissues, like the tongue, lips and the inside of the cheeks. If an injury occurs and a tooth is lost, it may require a dental implant

When Should You use a Mouth Guard?

It’s good to encourage a healthy lifestyle for kids from the start, and one way is to be active through sports. The mouth guard should be a complementary, but essential, piece of equipment that you have to take to every sporting event you or your child participates in. Even if contact sports, like boxing, have higher risks for the mouth. Every athlete can suffer an oral injury  in non-contact sports, like gymnastics or skating. 

Different Types of Mouth Protection

What are Mouth Guards For

The most recommended mouth guard is the custom made one, that your dentist made for you. But, these are usually much more expensive than the prefabricated ones. The boil and bite is an alternative that you can find in any pharmacy.

Custom Made: These mouth guards are made by a dentist, and are customized to your teeth. They are made individually, so you would have to pay more for them. They guarantee a good fit and maximum comfort. This is the most optimal option.

Boil and Bite: You can buy them in many sports shops and pharmacies. They usually fit better than the prefabricated protectors. First, you have to soften them in boiling water, and then put them into your mouth to suit your particular shape. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Prefabricated: They’re fairly cheap, pre-formed and ready to use. Unfortunately, they can sometimes feel too big and difficult for your breathing and communication.

Care for Your Mouth Guard:

Ask your dentist when you should replace the protector, but you should instantly get rid of it if it shows signs of wear, damage or if it no longer fit well. Kids and teenagers may have to replace them more often than adults because their mouths are changing and growing.

In between activities, you should clean your mouth guard and let it dry. These are some tips to make sure that your mouth guard remains in good conditions, always ready to use:

  • Rinse it before and after every use, or brush it with toothpaste.
  • Wash it frequently, with freshwater and soap. Make sure to rinse it.
  • Bring the mouth guard to your check-ups. Your dentist should examine and do a deep cleaning.
  • Transport and keep your mouth guard inside a thick case with ventilation, for it to dry and avoid bacteria to grow.
  • Never leave it in the sun.

To Summarize

If you were asking yourself what are mouth guards for, you should now have your answer. If a mouth guard wasn’t worn and damage occurred to a tooth, your dentist will be able to recommend the type of dentistry repair needed, based on the type of injury. Overall, mouth guards are used to protect your jaw, teeth, tongue and more. There are three different types of mouth guards, but the most effective one is a custom one from a dentist.