One of the consequences of playing sports is the possibility to end up with broken or damaged teeth. Kids are more prone to this situation because they love to move around and explore things. While you can take extreme care in protecting your teeth, you will always benefit from a dental accessory.
Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dentist, is here to give you advice about the importance of mouthguards. Read on!
How Mouth Guards Protect Your Teeth?
Mouthguards are meant to fit over the upper teeth and protect them from breaking or chipping due to impacts to your face, head, and mouth. Also, mouthguards also protect your mouth from your teeth – preventing cracked lips and accidentally bitten tongue. For those who wear braces or had dental restoration, dentists will advise the use of a specialized mouthguard that also protects lower teeth.
Based on the study of the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, athletes who don’t have mouthguards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. This is not surprising because of the common physical impacts brought by most sports. However, it’s evident that many people – children especially – don’t wear mouthguards.
The Main Types Of Mouth Guards
Currently, you can find three different types of mouthguards. The ready-made mouthguard (a common one) is a practical option that will fit a smaller budget. It has three standard sizes: small, medium, and large. While you can choose from any of these sizes, there’s no way to customize a chosen mouthguard. You might end up buying multiple units.
If you’re after customization, you can choose ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards. They can be customized according to your mouth size. First, you must heat the mouthguard by boiling it. Second, you can bite on the mouthguard so it can be reshaped to your size. They may be a little bulky, but the customization factor is a big plus. Boil and bite mouthguards are a bit pricier than ready-made mouthguards.
The most expensive type of mouthguard is the one made by a dentist or a professional lab technician. This mouthguard offers maximum comfort and protection levels. If you have braces or numerous dental issues, this is the best mouthguard choice. Price varies on your current teeth condition, but you should expect that this mouthguard can put a slight dent on your budget.
Cleaning Your Mouthguard
Owning a mouthguard requires responsibility on your part. Don’t just toss that mouthguard into your gym bag and leave it to gain mould. Bacteria, yeast, mould, and even fungi can start accumulating in your dirty mouthguard and will eventually compromise your oral health. Based on numerous studies, unclean mouthguards can lead to various respiratory problems and asthma attacks.
You should clean your mouthguard as often as you can. This will prevent the accumulation of mould, bacteria, and a plethora of unwanted microorganisms. Take note that simple tap water rinse is not enough. Instead, you must brush your mouthguard using a toothbrush and a strong toothpaste every now and then. For maximum protection, you can rinse the mouthguard in soapy water, clear water, or special antimicrobial solution. You can always ask your dentist regarding the best cleaning products that they’d recommend.
After methodical cleaning, you should dry your mouthguard and store in a well-ventilated case or shelf. Don’t forget to clean the case!
Is it Time to Replace Your Old Mouthguard?
When you see signs of wear and tear on the surface of your previously smooth mouth guard, you should consider buying a new one. A broken mouthguard is not effective, and it can even be a significant hindrance to your teeth. If you have custom mouthguards, your dentist can use a deep cleaning method through an ultrasonic machine. The process can smoothen cracked and worn-out portions of the mouthguard.
In sporting, over-the-counter mouthguards are almost always retired at the end of a sports season. Or if the mouthguard has shown signs of heavy wear, it is discarded immediately.
Cracked mouthguards are replaced because the cracks are small places where bacteria can mould and fester. The average toothbrush cannot reach these places. Also, kids require new mouthguards as they grow up
Using mouthguards is an excellent step towards protecting your teeth.
If you have any questions about mouthguards or are looking for dental consultation please contact us today.