Protect Your Investment with an Athletic Mouth Guard
Protective mouth guards are recommended for all athletes. Wearing one is even more important if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Our custom athletic mouth guards at Smile Orthodontics can protect you against knocked-out teeth, fractured teeth, jaw injuries, and other forms of dental trauma. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) has approximated that over 200,000 dental injuries are prevented each year by wearing a well-fitted mouth guard. 
Who Should Wear an Athletic Mouth Guard?
Athletes of all ages should wear a custom mouth guard while playing, particularly those who participate in contact sports. The Academy for Sports Dentistry routinely tracks incidents of sports-related dental injuries. As a result, they compiled a list of activities with the highest occurrence of trauma. While sports such as hockey, football, and basketball rank the highest for risk of injury, other activities like gymnastics, bicycling, and skating also make the list.
What Can a Custom Mouth Guard Prevent?
There are several forms of dental injury, some more serious than others. A custom athletic mouth guard can prevent:
- Tooth displacement
- Fractured teeth
- Avulsed teeth
- Direct blunt force trauma
- Head concussions
- Broken jaws
- Soft tissue lacerations
- TMJ injuries
Store-Bought Guards vs Custom Guards
There are numerous “boil-and-bite” mouth guard available in sporting goods stores across the country. While these are certainly better than nothing, they do not provide the same level of protection as a custom mouth guard. Simply stated, in order to work well, the appliance must fit well. Over-the-counter guards can be uncomfortable, and can interfere with speech. For these reasons, many athletes end up not wearing them at all. A custom athletic mouth guard, however, fits snugly over your teeth for optimal comfort.
Personalized Care for Optimal Results
Each patient is intricately unique. To fit you for your new custom guard, our doctors will evaluate your bite to determine the critical areas that require protection. Therefore, the guard can be crafted to the proper thickness for your specific needs. Generally, your mouth guard will only need to cover your upper teeth. However, this will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Caring for Your Custom Mouth Guard
Whenever you are not wearing your mouth guard, it is important to place it in its protective case. Because these appliances are fabricated from thermoplastic materials, they can warp if exposed to extreme heat, such as a hot car or a clothes dryer. Therefore, avoid leaving your mouth guard in your pocket.
Clean your mouth guard after every use to maintain its condition. This can be achieved with a soft toothbrush and cool water. Allow the appliance to thoroughly dry before placing it back in its protective case.
Be sure to bring your athletic mouth guard with you to every dental visit. By doing so, we will be able to assess the appliance and ensure it is still working properly. If your guard becomes damaged, or you notice a change in its fit, you should replace it right away.
Learn More about Custom Athletic Mouth Guards
If you participate in sports, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. Investing in a simple appliance can protect your oral health and save you thousands of dollars in medical bills. To learn more about our custom mouth guards, or to schedule an appointment, call us at one of our Suffolk, VA office locations, or contact us online.