If you think you don’t need a mouth guard, then think again. American Dental Association (ADA) reports that over 200,000 oral injuries can be prevented by simply making use of mouth guards, especially when playing a sport. A mouth guard is also referred to as mouth protector and is a flexible device worn over teeth.
ADA states that about eighty percent of children do not wear mouth guards while playing sports or during athletic events. The simple reason is that they are not required to wear these protective materials.
Although it is essential for them to wear other protective gear like helmets, shoulder pads, goggles or shin guards, the mouth protectors often get ignored. Many children wear braces or fixed anterior bridgework and it is essential to protect their teeth and jaws.
The Need and Importance of Mouth Guards
A mouth guard covers only the upper teeth. However, athletes or individuals with a protruding jaw or those who wear dental appliances like bridgework, retainers, and implant-supported dentures must wear a mouth guard on their lower teeth. Here are some more important reasons for using them:
- Mouth guards are a protective device or the coverings that are worn over teeth to protect them from damage, especially when involved in recreational activities and athletic events.
- Dental injuries are a common facial injury in sports. Mouth guard not only saves the teeth but also help protect the jaw as well.
- Mouth guard helps to buffer the damage to the teeth, brackets and other fixed oral appliances from physical blows.
- They act as a barrier between the teeth, braces and the cheeks and thus limit the risk of tissue damage in the mouth.
- The guard type devices relax the jaw muscles for people who are chronic clenchers and grinders. Depending on the severity and nature of the condition, they need to be worn day and night.
Different Types of Mouth Guards
There are mostly three types of guards:
1. Stock-mouth Guard: It is used in sports and is made of rubber or polyvinyl. They are the least expensive and can cost from $1 to $15.
2. Boil-and-bite Mouth Guard or Athletic Mouth Guard: It is used mostly by athletes and s most popular among three and a better fit to.
3. Custom-made Mouth Guard: It is considered the most protective option and can cost between $190 and $500. These are also the most comfortable as they are custom made for you by the dentist once he takes an impression of your teeth. Mouth-formed guards are priced at approximately $2 to $30. These mouth guards are either boil-and-bite kind or a shell liner.
The Perfect Mouth Guards
One should make efforts and pay careful considerations when choosing mouth guards. The ideal mouth guard for one would be which is affordable and practical. It should not limit breathing and should be comfortable to wear. It should stay firmly in place and allow one to speak comfortably. A quality mouth protector is odourless, tasteless, and durable. The most effective mouth guard for one should be durable, easy to clean, comfortable and should not restrict speech, eating or breathing.
Now that you have the ideal mouth guards, it is essential to take good care of them. Just like any other appliance, it must be cleaned regularly and adequately. Once you see signs of wearing or, it should be replaced. After each use, the mouth guard should be scrubbed with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Always store it in a protective case and keep it away from the hot sun and hot water. One should replace the mouth guard if it doesn’t fit properly. Take your mouth guard to your dentist for regular dental examinations and evaluations.
Keep your healthy teeth and jaw protected from potential trauma with the use of mouth guards and keep smiling.