Protect Your Investment with a Custom Athletic Mouthguard
Protecting your smile on the court or field is crucial for all athletes – especially if you have braces. Athletic mouthguards are the number one way to keep your teeth and gums safe from injury.
In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends you wear an athletic mouthguard when you participate in any sporting activity.
Choosing an Athletic Mouthguard
Selecting the right mouthguard is extremely important. Here are a few of the most common types:
- Pre-made (stock) mouthguard – These can be purchased from most sporting good stores. Inexpensive and ready to wear, but don’t often fit well.
- Boil and bite fitted (molded) mouthguard – These can also be purchased from most sporting goods stores. It’s popular due to the low-cost and custom fit but it doesn’t always work well with braces.
- Custom-made mouthguard – These are designed by your dentist to fit perfectly in your mouth and provide optimal protection against injuries.
- Orthodontic mouthguard – These are not molded to teeth and have extra room for appliances. This is the kind to wear while having orthodontic treatment.
Before deciding on a mouthguard, check with your child’s coach or instructor for each sport they play. Some teams or leagues are covered by an insurance policy that will only cover damage if a dentist has made the mouthguard for your child.
Sports such as wrestling require a double mouthguard that will cover both the top and bottom teeth. Knowing exactly what to ask your orthodontist or dentist for will help save you time and money.
When purchasing a mouthguard at a sporting goods store, you will want to choose something that won’t catch on the braces. These may need to be replaced often, as subtle changes to the teeth will occur approximately every two weeks. So, select a mouthguard that offers the best protection at the most reasonable price.
At Righellis Orthodontics, we recommend using an orthodontic mouthguard if you have braces, Invisalign or other orthodontic appliances. These mouthguards are not molded to the teeth and provide plenty of space for your braces without sticking to them. It is made of silicone and not only protects your teeth but also your lips and cheeks from hitting against your teeth and appliances.
Caring for Your Athletic Mouthguard
Just as you would clean your braces or retainers, it’s equally as important to maintain your mouthguard properly as well. To keep your appliance looking and feeling fresh:
- Gently clean your mouthguard after each use with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun or other hot environments, as the appliance can warp in the heat.
- Have your dentist assess your appliance at the beginning of every new sports season.
- Keep your mouthguard in a protective case when not in use.
- Do not wear a retainer at the same time your mouthguard is worn.
- Refrain from modifying your mouthguard in any way.
- Be sure to bring your mouthguard along with you to each office visit.
Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries we see. By being proactive and using a properly fitted mouthguard during all sporting activities, your chances of injury to your smile will minimize. Talk to Dr. Righellis about the best mouthguards for your needs, at your next appointment.
If you happen to experience hard contact with your mouth or face, thoroughly inspect your orthodontic appliances. Call your general dentist or the ER (if it’s severe) if you notice that your teeth or your appliances have been damaged in any way.
Learn More about Athletic Mouthguards
If you wear braces and play contact sports of any kind, it is essential to protect your investment. Learn more about the custom mouthguards offered at our Oakland, CA practice.
Contact us online or give us a call at 510- 482-0600.